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 new DVD: "A Day on the Battlefields" is now available! Please use the contact form to order your copy. R250 plus p&p.
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.
Monday, 18th May
The Battle of Rorke's Drift
Morden College, London
Tickets: Bill Heelan, 02080 463 08340
Tuesday, 19th May
The Battle of Rorke's Drift
East India Club, London
Tickets: Alex Bray
Friday, 22nd May
The Battle of Rorke's Drift
Cumnor House School, Danehill, Haywards Heath
Tickets: Matt Mockridge
Saturday, 30th May
The Battle of Rorke's Drift
Drake Hall, Amersham Community Centre
Tickets: Tony Glyn-Jones
Monday, 1st June
The Allure of the North
New Club, Edinburgh
Tickets: email@example.com, 0131 226 4881
Monday, 2nd June
The Race to the Pole
The Boathouse, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Tickets: Smokesilver Travel, 07977 241 365
Wednesday, 3rd June
Going South with Scott & Shackleton
Epperstone Village Hall, Nottingham NG14 6AY
Tickets: Helen Nall, 0115096603634
It is almost inconceivable that we are already at the end of April, much of our beloved country desperate for rain, and dam levels low. That this be the cycle of life brings little comfort - parts of KZN experiencing their worst drought in 80 years. I was fortunate enough to be invited by Brett Hulett to do a talk about Isandlwana at Brettenwood in Umhlali. Having hoped for 100 guests, 200 turned up in what turned out to be a sublime evening. The event was moved to their outdoor amphitheatre. Young, local Zulus opened proceedings with wonderful drumming and dancing. To present Isandlwana out of doors on a calm, starry evening was a special privilege. My 60-minute slot quickly became 90, whilst the audience enjoyed a drink - even the kids were quiet. Beautifully organised by Nikki Chennells, speaking at such events is a pleasure. Some dear American guests who have toured with me before, returned with members of their family. We drove up together from Hilton for a lovely day at Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. John's "lost in translation" story brought the house down. One day at Steers, they ordered take-out meals. He requested no sauce on his cheeseburger, apparently making it clear "just cheese". There was some confusion at the counter, and his burger duly arrived. Try to imagine his disappointment, when back on the road, he opened his burger to find the buns with a piece of cheese?! Clearly blessed with a great sense of humour and temperance, his grandson admitted placing a live fresh-water shrimp in his glass of red wine. John finished the wine, to find with some surprise, a live shrimp in the bottom of his glass. I guess, different strokes for different folks. What a treat to have Americans relishing our history. I hope they will be back, delightful folks.
After the frantic travels and activity of mid-March, a fantastic day of fly-fishing for trout was savoured near Underberg. We managed to land some nice fish, and enjoyed them smoked in salads and snacks. Best way to enjoy bigger trout, in my opinion - smoked. This Easter will long be remembered on account of our working flat-out on my book. I have had my battlefield tours written up, for those less inclined to view a DVD or read detailed analyses available in so many books today. Producing a book certainly is more involved than initially meets the eye, but what a rewarding journey it has been. The transition from the spoken word to the written word is challenging, and not seamless. Nonetheless, the book is now with the designer in Howick, being prepared for the printers. So many of the cruise companies and literary festivals want to see one's published work, and it still appears incomprehensible that I will soon be a published author. We are doing a small, self-published run initially, to test the waters. We are very much hoping they will sell well alongside the DVD's during our May lecture tour in the UK.
The often used expression "mad as a March Hare" stems from the March madness exhibited by British hare males in their breeding season, whilst leaping about and kicking out wildly with their hind feet. The travels and activities of the past 10 days appear comparable, if only in their frenetic nature. Grindrod Bank in Durban graciously invited me to present Scott and Shackleton at the unveiling of their magnificent Albatross sculpture, appropriately named "Fortitude". It was a well-attended, glittering event, beautifully organised by Sarah Freestone. Bruce Clements has toiled for 8 long months on this 220kg life-size sculpture of a Wandering Albatross in flight, and the end result is simply sublime. In their inimitable style, Grindrod sourced a bottle of the replica whisky found under Shackleton's Cape Royds hut is 2007. I was allowed to open the bottle and propose a toast to Scott and Shackleton - what a privilege, never mind savouring this fantastic blend, so faithfully recreated by Whyte and Mackay - Mackinlay's new owners. The following morning, we set off to Johannesburg, where I was standing in for "Old Greybeard" himself, Kingsley Holgate, at a coal mining conference at Emperor's Palace. There were many disappointed souls, banking on getting a photo with Kingsley as he still featured on the program. Instead they were faced with a dairy farmer from the Midlands in his shorts, carrying a stick! It remains a fairly daunting prospect speaking to 800 delegates, seated at tables, making a massive audience, with your own mug being reflected on massive flatscreens around the venue. Thankfully it went well - punctuated with some ZULU, helping to break the ice.
It is hard to believe that our cricket team who succumbed so badly against India, is the same team to excel against the West Indies and Ireland. After a very busy, productive time in the greater Johannesburg area, it was wonderful to return to the cool, green, wet Midlands. Mindful, however, that many parts of our beloved land are praying for rain. I had a long conversation with my old friend, Kingsley Holgate, regarding storytelling, rhino poaching, adventuring and the wonderful idea of sharing platforms in the future. As most of us find, clashes often arise with events and adventures-even more so in Kingsley's case. An enquiry came through for a battlefields tour in August. Nobody can imagine my pleasure in writing back to say, sorry, but I shall be riding Tour de Tuli with Wilderness Safaris at that time. Over the weekend we celebrated my nephew's 21st in sublime weather, with sheep on the spit and more than a hundred guests. He has been working on super-yachts in the US and Europe, and what a delight to have him home after 15 months away unbroken. I finished my speech with Rudyard Kipling's "If" - in my opinion a fine mantra to lead one's Life by. After the business of Johannesburg, along with much travelling, it is a special privilege to spend two nights at Champagne Sports, relaxing with dear friends. After a walk at Monk's Cowl, feeling as if we could touch the high mountains, it is wondrous reflecting on life in Natal, and just how blessed we are in every regard. Thursday finds me back on the battlefields, with guests from the Midlands.
For bookings and enquiries, you may use the form below, or phone Rob on +27 (0)82 4000 470