The Speakers

The Narrator

Alex Batchelor, The Many Hats Man.

Alex will be chairing the day from the In The Beginning to The End.

Alex has about 10 funny stories about his life - and remains married only because of the indulgence of his wife, Geraldine, who doesn't mind hearing them repeated.  None of them really involve the companies he has worked for to date: Unilever, Saatchi & Saatchi, Interbrand, Orange, Royal Mail, TomTom and System1 (formerly BrainJuicer) and now Watch Me Think. But all of them are life lessons he is grateful for.  Chairing a conference is an opportunity to hear everyone else's stories - and offer some introductions and synthesis, without the hard work of writing a new story.  Alex is grateful for that too.

The Founder

Fraser Doherty MBE, Founder, SuperJam and

The Adventures of Jam Boy. From Grandmothers kitchen to supermarket shelves and beyond…

In this light-hearted talk, 'Jam Boy' will share the story of how he learned his Grandmother's jam recipes at the age of 14, and went on to launch them in thousands of stores around the world.  SuperJam's 100% fruit jams have now sold millions of jars, while becoming something of a phenomenon in, of all places, South Korea.  

Fraser is also the co-founder of the world's largest craft beer club, Fraser will also share some of the lessons he has learned in turning his and his friend James' love of craft beer into a successful online retailer.

The Innovator

Tristan Ferne, Lead Producer, BBC.

Beyond 800 words: new digital story formats

News on the internet is still predominantly 800-word articles, a legacy from newspapers. But there’s now room to innovate and create new story formats that better fit peoples’ habits and contexts and technology of today.

Tristan will be showing you new formats that are natively digital, repeatable across stories and scalable and efficient. He'll be explaining the 12 types of new digital story, from vertical video to scrollytelling to newsletters.

The Charity

Emily Murdock, Ministry of Stories/Hoxton Monster Supplies.

Unleashing children’s imaginations

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies sells 'Bespoke and Everyday Items for the Living, Dead and Undead' and is the trading arm of the children's charity Ministry of Stories, where story-making is a dead-serious affair.

In this talk Emily will share the 'true' story behind the shop and brand, as well as the more interesting story we share with their customers who - the hint's in the name - consist largely monsters.  Every product created by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is designed with the monster in mind - if a monster wouldn't want to buy it, they don't want to make it.

After a whirlwind virtual tour of their shop and some of their products, you will be invited to participate in a fast-paced activity designed to get you to think like monsters in much the same way we do when inventing new products.

The Archivist

Daniel Meadows, photographer, writer, documentarist and pioneer of participatory media.

A true legend, Daniel will screen short videos and talk about how, in these dark times of austerity in the public sector, they have shone a light on his archive and kept it alive.

Read more

The Archivist

Craig Twyford, Founder, JamJar Story.

The power of people watching

The Writer

Louella Miles, Writers4management.

Cutting copy to the bone: a hands-on session. How to create impactful stories that captivates your audience, draws them in, keeps them engaged and gets them asking for more.

"No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time." 
- The Gryphon, Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

As attention spans continue to dwindle, it’s important to get your key message across in as few words as possible. This session will show:

  • How different media tackle the same story
  • Why size isn’t everything
  • The role of a title
  • …and how fast you can work.

The Theorists

Asif Noorani (Epiphany Productions) & Danny Russell (DRC)

Who’s afraid of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

Everyone knows storytelling is important – there are very few people who remain to be convinced of its value.

Almost everyone instinctively believes they are good at it, yet we persistently hear horror stories of having to sit through drab, boring, over long and uninspiring presentations.

How can that be?  Just as everyone agrees there are terrible drivers on the road, but no-one is willing to admit to being a terrible driver or volunteering to be retaught the rules of the road, people often hold overly favourable views of their storytelling abilities, and dismiss the need to learn from real experts.

Welcome to the Dunning-Kruger effect – a human condition, not a pathological one, so we are all potential victims.

The Unspoken Storytelling Programme tackles assumptions and myths around storytelling, that result in uninspiring delivery of insight projects. Storytelling isn’t only about the content, but the impact on the audience, and how we can elicit that emotional response.

Storytelling is the priceless skill, which will mark us out from the algorithms and robots who are ready to take our jobs!

The [T]heorist, [A]uthor, [S]trategist 

Anthony "Tas" Tasgal, The Storytelling book.

How to find your golden thread

Tas will quote from his award winning The Storytelling Book and his forthcoming book The Inspiratorium to explore why we need to spark insightment, and finding your Golden Thread.

Tas will also show us that the time has come to restore the lost art of storytelling; to put the author back into authority; to write less and think more. In a world that is DRIP [Data Rich, Insight Poor] and at the mercy of a ruthless arithmocracy, everyone wants to get their message across, but no one has time to listen.

Much of what we carefully prepare in our presentations goes into mental attention spam: filtered out before it gets a chance to reach consciousness and consideration. This is messaging.

Massaging, on the other hand, understands the importance of emotions, of System 1 and of how we are innately story-telling and pattern-seeking creatures.

The Agency

Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Evidence, MG OMD

The pratfall effect and its relationship with brand storytelling

We spend our time and budgets creating stories that reflect well on ourselves and our brand. However, psychological evidence suggests admitting weaknesses is a far more effective way to become appealing.

The Case Studies

- where stories have changed businesses

Andy Hill 
Samworth Brothers

Triangulation – getting from a room full of facts, to a compelling story.

  • What is triangulation, and why does it matter
  • Getting to the truth – different sources to answer the same question
  • Getting it all out on the table
  • ‘The writers’ room’ – getting the team to write the story
  • Pulling it all together - flexing your story for different audiences
  • First person stories – allowing the protagonists to tell their own stories
  • Using the story – with our biggest retail customers
  • Using the story – with our senior business leaders

Stuart Chapman

How, through compelling stories, toys sell…

  • Making it relatable
  • Creating a need for change
  • Making it memorable

Roll up roll up; step right up