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.
Rob Caskie is an experience and his passion and knowledge is mind-boggling.
Your ability to tell a story with no IT assistance is quite unique in this day and age
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.
This year found us back at the Hilton Arts Festival, an event which has grown enormously in size and popularity. What is there not to love about being in the grounds of Hilton College, perusing the stalls, attending shows of one's own choice, stopping for coffee or a bite to eat, and generally enjoying the Midlands in all her glory? Both my talks were thankfully full - the second being a departure from the norm in a picture story of Antarctica. It is an honour being part of this prestigious Festival, and the organisers are a delight to deal with. The beginning of October marks our 4th anniversary of being on our own, and we have prepared a newsletter to send out to contacts, old and new. Karen has worked exceptionally hard in paring down our address list, and we hope recipients will grace us with a few moments of their precious time.
Travelling to and from Johannesburg, the dust created by massive tractors preparing lands for maize and other crops has been incredible. With much of the country pitifully dry, one hopes the present rains will go a long way in alleviating the drought cycle. Certainly northern KZN has been pitifully dry. A finance conference found me privileged enough to speak, and stay, at 12 Apostles in Cape Town. It is difficult to imagine a more glorious scene at sunset, than sitting on their deck looking out over a calm ocean. As always, my shorts and stick proving somewhat incongruous amongst delegates in their suits, and beautifully dressed ladies. The following evening found me at Champagne Sports Resort in the Drakensberg, speaking to an agricultural chemical company, along with some tips on storytelling and presentation. Phil West and his teams provided a private venue, and a marvellous evening was had along with a traditional braai. Always interesting speaking to guests from all over Africa, with many South African companies increasing their foot print on the continent. We tend to be blissfully unaware of one another's history. British guests I first met in 2001 engaged me to show them over some of KZN's battlefields, so after picking them up at Phinda, we headed to Ithala Game Reserve en route to Vryheid. Ithala must rate as one of our reserves with the greatest changes in elevation, providing a wonderfully varied experience. Sadly, in cold, wet weather, no rhinos were seen, but we enjoyed elephant, and many species of plains game. Wet, misty weather did not bode well for our planned trip up the Hlobane Mountain. The summit is reached via a 4x4 track, and although wet, we reached the top easily. Discussed the end of Campbell and Lloyd-Wood's staff officers, before driving across the top of the mountain to the Devil's Pass. Thick mist precluded our seeing anything at all, most disappointing. As fate would have it, the mist eventually lifted after a cup of tea, and we were able to see the pass itself, Piet Uys's grave, and the gap in the treacherous cliffs where George "Chops" Mossop made his unbelievable escape. The dangerous fissures across the top of Hlobane created by coal-mining shafts have all been filled with rocks, making the walk to the eastern end considerably safer. Discussing Buller's ascent, the fate of Barton, Weatherley and others always makes for a cracking tale. We then moved across to Khambula, probably the turning point in the Anglo-Zulu War on 29 March 1879. The knoll fortified by Wood certainly makes a fine choice given the surrounding topography. Blood River and Napoleon Kop make for interesting discussion en route south to Fugitives' Drift. The emphasis on this occasion was to walk over the sites, visit unfrequented grave sites, and get a better understanding of the ground on which these famous battle were fought.
After the incredible travelling and cycling over the previous 12 days, it has been wonderful to return to normal this week. A client invited me to share 'Endurance - Shackleton's Way' at the Port Shepstone Country Club. Having spent much time on the South Coast as a youngster, it was a nostalgic return after all these years. In glorious winter weather, and a calm sea, a more appealing scene is hard to imagine. Walking on the golf course alongside the Umzimkulu River, surrounded by beautiful trees and Vervet Monkeys was settling before my presentation. The 120 clients were treated to an economic forecast, somewhat sobering after the revelations in China, and a very weak Rand. I hope their spirits were lifted by the triumph and survival of Shackleton and his entire crew on board the Endurance in 1914/16. In terms of client entertainment/appreciation, a thoroughly good evening in every regard, and well done to all who contributed. We then drove up to Kloof to speak at the Natal Women's Forum. A stop was mandatory at Umnini to look at sticks, and I could not leave without adding 2 to my collection. The longer of the two proving ideal whilst speaking at the Forum. If one has ever felt like a Petunia in the onion patch, that was me - the ONLY man amongst 320 women! I was made to feel most welcome and honoured. To my great relief Rob Bentley arrived as the talk was about to begin. Rob was at Everest Base Camp when the avalanche struck in Nepal, and tells an incredible story with awesome visuals, sound and video. The Forum want Rob to share this story with them next year, hence his being allowed to attend. I shared 'South with Scott and Shackleton' - not an easy task in 45 minutes. It was exceptionally well received. Most of the ladies, I believe, intrigued at the idea of pure storytelling sans any visual aids or PowerPoint. What a pleasure to speak to an appreciative audience, with a good sound system in a cool, airy auditorium.
Driving home yesterday from Mantuma Camp in uMkhuze Game Reserve provided much time to reflect upon an extraordinary past 11 days. Wilderness Safaris graciously invited me to ride Tour de Tuli in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe, in lieu of some talks in the evenings. Perhaps the best organised mountain bike event in the world, and this year was no exception. I travelled up from Jhb with Peter van Kets, the endurance athlete and ambassador for Children in the Wilderness. One of the most upbeat, positive human beings I know, spending time with Pete is the finest therapy available. Hearing about his trans-Atlantic rows, skiing to the South Pole, and racing to the North Pole with dog sleds and a Norwegian Special Forces partner is exhilarating in the extreme. We dropped our bags at the Venetia car park, and drove the vehicle to the finish at Mapungubwe, to facilitate our departure after the event. Cycling the 50km back to Limpopo Valley Airfield at 1.30pm in 38 degree heat prepared us a little for the long, hot, dusty days in store. Following different routes to previous years, this year's Tour de Tuli saw cyclists spending long days in the saddle. Two days of 80km took our Group 6 eight hours to complete. The region contains much sand which is completely unrideable, and some technical rocky sections. A few riders brought Fat Bikes along, with their 4 inch wide tyres. Fine for the thick sand, but challenging in the rocky sections, and a LOT of rubber to pedal over 270km, me thinks. The catering on TdT was sublime - one evening 8 sheep on the spit were prepared. Notwithstanding Bean There Coffee and their magnificent contribution to the cyclists' pleasure with endless cappuccino’s and the like.
For bookings and enquiries, you may use the form below, or phone Rob on +27 (0)82 4000 470