I’m not a religious person.
But I remember attending a Christian crusade by evangelist Leighton Ford.
Ford was a Presbyterian Minister famous for his stadium tours spreading the Christian gospel with long and powerful sermons.
The crusade I went to was in Perth at Perry Lakes Stadium in 1968. I was eleven years old.
My parents had taken my brother and me to this event, attended by thousands. I don’t recall being impacted by the speakers, but how the audience responded affected me. Almost all of them listened to the sermon in silence and agreement.
Near the end of the evening, audience members were beckoned to move to the front of the stage, to hold their arms in the air, to surrender to something or someone. Eyes closed, smiles on their faces, all beaming. As though in a trance.
My mother was one of the crowd that surrendered.
(My father was too stoically stern to display that sort of emotion, but I sense he, too, was moved by whatever was in the air.)
And that’s when my fascination with telling stories, presenting to inform and persuade, motivating others through powerful words, all began.
I’ve been listening and analysing speakers in many different circumstances. From an early age, I entered speaking competitions, seeking to copy the ways of a super speaker.
Later in life I constantly put myself in positions to speak to audiences at conferences and gatherings. It is no wonder I became a teacher and then later a trainer, and later again a manager of teams that needed to be motivated and inspired.
I should have known from an early age that my love of words was always my destiny.
My first real job was as a linguist in a remote Indigenous community outside of Marble Bar in WA.
Later I worked in another community near Ayers Rock.
Learning and then writing the language in these sparse conditions was true pioneer work.
Back to mainstream Australia and 20-plus years in the corporate sector. It was just another audience to me. The stages were bigger and the conferences more spectacular, though.
I even spent a few years trying my hand at stand-up comedy in Melbourne. Another stage, another audience, another head rush.
And now, here I am writing speeches, creating copy and content for the same audiences that I’ve been working with over the last 40 years.
Send me a message if you want to hear more.
To be honest, I’d rather hear your story, so get in touch if you have a business writing gig that I can help with.
You’ll have your own stories and they will all have a message to share.