LTUK Connection Story Final Version

Michelle Ockers speaking on stage

When I introduce myself as a speaker at a conference or in a webinar I normally say something like ‘I have the privilege of working alongside L&D leaders and their teams shaping learning strategy and building the capability of L&D teams, helping them to respond to and consolidate shifts.’ I’ll do this using a slide that features my photo, awards and the logos of some of the organisations that I’ve worked with. At least it’s not long!

At Learning Technologies UK conference last week I tried something different – introducing myself and establishing rapport using a connection story. The first challenge was to identify an appropriate story – something that showed the audience that I understood their world, was relatable for them, and relevant to the topic. I wrote a first draft, audio recorded it and sent it to my storytelling coach. Based on his feedback I refined it further.

I was a lot happier with the final version, which I’ve shared below.

Connection Story – Making My Own Luck at Coca-Cola Amatil

The key things I learned were:

  • to speak less formally and use plainer language
  • include emotion, discussing how I felt, particularly at the turning or key point in the story
  • include visual details


  • Hi Michelle I read your story before but I must say it is so much better in video!
    A lesson for me in difference text and speech.

    • Michelle Ockers

      I notice the difference between the spoken and written word all the time when I review the transcripts of my podcast. I always create a guest quote from each podcast episode to put onto artwork to promote the episode. I learnt early on that some editing is required to convert what the guest said to a more concise communication of their point. I also learnt to always check the quote with the guest before publishing it – just in case I’ve misunderstood what they said or they would like to refine it further.

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