Storytelling may seem like an old-fashioned tool, today — and it is. That’s exactly what makes it so powerful. Life happens in the narratives we tell one another. A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.
When you want to motivate, persuade, or be remembered, start with a story of human struggle and eventual triumph. It will capture people’s hearts – by first attracting their brains.
Since 2004, I have presented extensively in the United Kingdom and South Africa to both corporate and private clients. My achievements were recognised with the honour of being invited to speak at the Royal Geographic Society in London to full houses.
I believe there are powerful lessons to be learnt from the remarkable stories of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, which resonate especially with audiences today. I also regularly present on Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton, along with a keynote presentation titled ‘Endurance: Shackleton’s way’. This talk highlights Shackleton’s unique leadership, choice of personnel and always believing in a positive outcome.
Always confident with people, I thrive on the challenge and reward of entertaining audiences in the theatres of their imagination and transporting them via the power of a story well told.
I pride myself in unique storytelling and do not rely on electronic or visual aids – ‘when the lights trip, Rob does not’!
From the battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal to the broken boards of Maritzburg College and the Antarctic, Rob is at home (in shorts) in the wildest of environments.
Rob's newly published book "A Day on the Anglo Zulu Battlefields" and upgraded DVD are now available. Please use the contact form to order.
Your ability to tell a story with no IT assistance is quite unique in this day and age
Rob Caskie is an experience and his passion and knowledge is mind-boggling.
Rob offers private talks, public talks and battlefield tours (shorts included).
Keynote presentations providing wonderful entertainment, whilst highlighting invaluable lessons from Isandlwana, Rorke's Drift or Shackleton's Endurance Expedition. Enthralling lessons from yesteryear told as an unforgettable story.
Issues of leadership, choice of personnel, communication, disengagement, use of resource, amongst others in history are shared by way of stories, intending to assist businesses with these factors today. Effective speaking and presentation skills workshops also offered.
Rob offers personalised tours to Isandlwana, Rorke's Drift, Spioenkop, Colenso and Sani Pass, amongst others. A wonderful extension of what is offered in the boardroom and truly memorable. Rob regularly assists visitors planning KwaZulu Natal itineraries.
Schools and charities regularly employ Rob's unique story-telling for fundraising events, or simply to share an historic tale with the scholars. Many UK events fall into this category.
Disappointingly for me, Expedition ship Le Boreal caught fire off the Falklands on 18 November. Damage is severe enough for all cruises on Le Boreal to be cancelled for the foreseeable future, including the Christmas cruise I was due to speak on. I am very grateful to be heading south on 1 February for 3 cruises in Antarctica on board Le Lyrial, ending up in Montevideo in early March. On a positive note much of our beloved country has received some desperately-needed rain. Not enough to make a difference to dams, but certainly a great help in these worrying times. I am wondering when last South Africa was an importer of maize? Thankfully my DVD set and book, "A day on the Anglo Zulu battlefields with Rob Caskie" have been selling well. Proving ideal as Christmas gifts, we are hoping to sell more this month, and very happy to post them. A local history teacher paid me a special comment, in that her teenage students did not want the DVD turned off at the end of the lesson! Probably the very moment Charles Raw and his little mounted patrol were about to stumble in upon the mighty Zulu army.... On Wednesday, 9 December, Fancourt at George have kindly invited me to tell some stories in their ballroom, whilst we are on a road trip to Cape Town. Road tripping is something we love, and always a fine reminder of why we choose to make South Africa home. We plan to take the slow roads, visiting friends all the while and get to Cape Town in time for a special family wedding. It is all too easy to lose sight of the magnificence of this land when one flies, however convenient and expedient that generally proves to be. One night will be spent with that great doyen of the eastern Cape, Alan Weyer - expert on the Xhosa Frontier Wars, and master storyteller. We can hardly wait.
With Rugby World Cup fever scarcely over, I was invited to England to speak at a conference near Winchester. Somewhat daunting was seeing Michael Portillo amongst the speakers before me, speaking on Britain in 2020. The event was held at Lainston House - a gorgeous country estate. Clay-pigeon shooting was arranged, always great fun, although many of the delegates had never done so previously. For dinner a hog-roast was enjoyed, and with no expense spared it was an incredible event to be part of. Nobody knew what to expect from me, and my shorts and stick drew much attention over breakfast. It is wonderful to see how pure storytelling still appeals to folks from all walks of life, sans PowerPoint, and my presentation was very well received. Europcar gave me the option of walking through Group 1, and choosing my own vehicle. Initially I settled on a Ford Fiesta, but changed to a two-door Citroen C3, with a little turbo diesel motor. Filled with all manner of extras, it was a delight to drive, with lots of power and very light on diesel. The 6-speed manual gearbox may have been French overkill. Our own TomTom never failed to get me to the correct address, thankfully. The weather in England this past week was particularly wet, albeit warm. I drove across to the Cotswolds, and then caught a train into London for a talk at The Rag on Pall Mall. Of course, shorts are absolutely Verboten there, so I arrived in longs and jacket, before changing into shorts at my host's request. Hard to believe that these expensive, pretentious venues still do not have anything other than lectern and hand-held microphones. It was a very wet and foggy evening, so I was grateful for the train rather than driving back to friends in the Cotswolds.
Ever since riding the Berg and Bush mountain-bike event in 2010, I have dreamed of returning. Rugby World Cup afforded me that privilege this year, as we changed our tour dates to the UK on account of the rugby. What a delight it was to ride Gary Green's incredible tracks on the 10th anniversary of this now iconic event. The Great Trek sees a smaller field than the other two events, so the race village, tracks and facilities offered plenty of space to all riders. It exceeded my high expectations in every regard. Day 1, riding off the escarpment, is considered one of the finest mountain biking days in South Africa, and deservedly so. We were blessed with cooler weather and less wind than affected the Descent, thankfully. The following morning I spoke about the remainder of the Anglo-Zulu War over a breakfast hosted by Azalea Rotary at the Victoria Country Club in Pietermaritzburg. Rod Holness and his team do a fantastic job. It is always a treat to be involved in such projects, and special thanks go to all who supported the event so graciously. Friends in Johannesburg asked me to show them around Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift over the weekend, so I drove directly there after breakfast. Hard to believe that an initial plan hatched months ago on the Thompson's farm near Christiana, saw the group grow from 4 guests to 16. Most knew nothing about the battlefields, so we tried to add much extra detail. The weekend saw us all in dinner suits to watch the Boks squeak home against Wales, and the All Blacks demolish France, their old nemesis. All in all, it was a fantastic occasion. Plans already afoot for a similar outing elsewhere in the future.
It has been a hot, dry, windy start to October, with most of the country crying out for rain. Many dam levels are dangerously low. One lives in hope that the government will be capable of implementing emergency measures should this be required. On a far more positive note, the response to our 4th anniversary newsletter has been very good indeed. Some book and DVD orders, but most importantly a few invitations to speak in the UK again. We are planning a trip across there in September/October 2016, and hope for a full program. WE wish it was as easy to secure talks locally as it is in England. An English guest from Bristol, who I took onto the Battlefields this past week, plays golf at the same club as Douglas Bourne, grandson of Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne, DCM of Rorke's Drift fame. He returns to Bristol with renewed respect for Douglas, who is now almost 90 years of age, and still playing golf 3 times a week. Frank died on 8 May 1945, VE Day, aged 92 - the oldest survivor of Rorke's Drift. The Pecanwood 40km mountain bike event was spoiled by weak organisation, and very poor route planning. Considering the mountain biking available in the area, there is no excuse for such a thoughtless route - cutting a route across the veld with a weed eater does not constitute a single-track! With others being threatened by wattle trees being felled, with no marshals or caution boards, the less said the better. Most riders will not be returning next year. The 3-day Berg and Bush Descent in the Bergville/Winterton area saw many cyclists withdraw on account of the heat and dehydration issues. Somewhat concerning as I make my way up there this week for the 3-day Great Trek. WE are very much hoping for cooler weather, and less wind.
For bookings and enquiries, you may use the form below, or phone Rob on +27 (0)82 4000 470