King … or Queen? – an interview with Chris King (13th of May 2006)

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Introduction

For a long time I was a subscriber to Chris’s newsletter and learned much from it. I enjoyed reading her stuff and believe it or not, it was only recently I thought of asking her if she’d agree to an interview. I was deeply pleased she agreed. So, without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you, Chris King.


Aneeta: Chris, thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. I must confess, Chris, I’ve been a long-time follower of the work that you share on your site. However, I’ve always been curious about the person, Chris. This is my chance to find out. So please, do tell me a little about who you are, where you came from, your family, etc.

Chris: Originally from the East Coast (New York), I have lived in Ohio for 47 years and love it here. I have what I call a “Portfolio Career” – many careers at the same time, plus many different careers in the past. They include: human development specialist, artist, web site developer and designer, storyteller, trainer, consultant, TV announcer, model, mathematician, marketing manager, newspaper editor, salesperson, waitress, writer, speaker, group fitness instructor and mother of five. I always wanted to be a writer, artist and storyteller, but was urged by my parents to major in mathematics. This led me to an early career as a computer programmer – years and years ago. Re-introduced to computers in 1991 when I became a newspaper editor, I fell in love with Information Technology and have become what we call a geekette.

Aneeta: I know that you manage quite a number of websites. To make it easier, what I’ll do is to divide my questions in 5 categories and perhaps, you can explain each one, with appropriate links to that topic. Let’s start with newsletters. When I first stepped into the world of internet business, I subscribed to your newsletter, Portfolio Potpourri, and it fascinated me that in each edition, you had a theme running throughout. I tried to do this and failed miserably. I so envied your ability to do this. My question is how do you decide what theme to use each time?

Chris: Great question! Because I cover so many topics, I love having a theme that makes me think and keeps me “on track.” Usually the theme for the current edition is suggested by something I have read or heard recently. I am a life-long learner – always reading and/or listening to motivational and business audios. When planning a storytelling program, I find that establishing a theme helps with the flow of the performance and stories chosen for the program, so this suggested using a theme for Portfolio Potpourri issues. To find out more about this eclectic e-newsletter and for a link to the current issue, visit http://www.creativekeys.net/newsletter.htm

Aneeta: On to the issue of writing. Please explain your philosophy towards this activity and perhaps, you could give some advice to my readers, who are mainly from Asia and Africa.

Chris: As I mentioned before, I always wanted to be a writer. I think that this is why I am so enamoured with the Internet. The very best advice I have received and will give about writing is to do lots of it. I love sharing information, so the writing seldom seems like a chore. Other advice to aspiring writers is: be conversational, rather than proper (you don’t want a lot of errors, but you do want to be easy to read); be brief; write about topics that you are passionate about; enjoy the writing and your readers will enjoy reading what you have written.

Aneeta: What great advice. Thank you. Onto the subject we have a mutual interest in – storytelling. Please describe your interest in this area and any advice you may have.

Chris: I have always loved stories and telling stories, so in 1989 as an active speaker who used stories, I made the decision to add professional storytelling to my “Portfolio Career.” I feel strongly that everyone is a storyteller, whether or not professionally, and can benefit from using the power of storytelling. Again, only tell stories you feel passionate about; collect your family stories (I have a storytelling friend who tells us, “When an older person dies, a library dies with them.”); share stories with everyone; read stories; listen to stories; and practice, practice, practice.

Aneeta: Why do you feel that today, powerful presentations have become a necessity?

Chris: Everything today is so fast-paced, we need to have “top notch” communication skills to be heard. I am also receiving many questions and feedback from those who have been called upon to do training and/or presentations for the companies they work for. This doesn’t come easily or naturally to most people, so we all must work on it. At my http://www.powerfulpresentations.net website I offer 85 free articles, plus many resources. Again, the way to become a powerful presenter is to do lots of speaking. I highly recommend finding a Toastmasters International club to join and attend regularly. The training and in person experience you will receive is invaluable.

Aneeta: I am all for storytellers having an online presence. However, I’ve come to realise that this is not always the case with others and for the benefit of those who might feel ‘shy’, can you please explain the benefit to a storyteller if he/she should have a website.

Chris: The biggest benefit to having an online presence is credibility. It has become expected of us. Even if a storyteller feels they don’t want a full site of their own, they should be listed in as many storytelling directories as possible. They should, at least, consider setting up a blog (can be done, free of charge, at http://www.blogger.com). Having an online presence also keeps you informed as to what is happening in the storytelling community and makes the storyteller easy to contact by others who are searching.

Aneeta: I understand that you’ve written several reports. Can you please list them out and give a brief description of each one?

Chris:

  • 125 Ways to Develop Your Personal and Professional STYLE: How to develop your own unique STYLE through tips in the areas of Life-STYLE Habits, Image, Communication, Career, Financial, and Social

The next five Special Reports include what I have learned and experienced through real life, been-there, done-that presentations, along with attending more workshops, seminars, teleseminars and speeches than I can count.

  • 60 Tips for Giving “Knock Their Socks Off” Presentations
  • 43 More Tips for Giving “Knock Their Socks Off” Presentations
  • Even 44 More Tips for Giving “Knock Their Socks Off” Presentations
  • Unique and Exciting Roles of the Powerful Presenter and How to Handle Them
  • How to Add the Power of Story to Your Presentations: The Why, When, What, How, Where and Who of Storytelling

The next two special reports include what I have learned from being a Certified Group Fitness Instructor for the past 15 years. If you want enough energy to be able to achieve all of your goals, regular exercise is the answer.

  • How to Invigorate Your Life and Career through Exercise: The Benefits, Steps, Tips, Procedures, Practices and Myths
  • Fitness Methods, Exercise and Tools: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

For a more detailed description of the reports, do visit http://www.creativekeys.net/specialreports.htm

Aneeta: Well, I think I’ve asked you all that I can think of. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Chris: I am really impressed with the work you have done on your storytelling website. Storytelling is so important in all areas of our lives. Keep up the great work and encouragement.

Aneeta: Thank you.

Chris: And thank you, Aneeta, this has been fun!


This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ howtotellagreatstory.com for reprint rights.

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