Community building

My friends at Symphonia are running a community building sessions based on the methodology and work of Peter Block. I have been to his workshops and they are great.

“Most sustainable improvements in community occur when citizens discover their own power to act… when they stop waiting for the professionals or elected leadership to do something, and decide they can reclaim what they have delegated to others.” Peter Block

Workshops will be held in Cape Town on 20,21 October, chat to Johleen on 021 913 3507 or email [email protected] to book your place.
Contact Johleen on 021 913 3507 or email [email protected] to book your place.

Grow your Voice to Speak with Confidence

Grow your Voice to Speak with Confidence

Dr Petro Janse van Vuuren

This book discusses aspects of public speaking that we often neglect, and that is using your voice as an effective tool to get your message across.  Instead of telling you how to structure your presentation, how to use the stage or to use body language, she focuses understanding, developing and using the core muscles required to have an effective speaking voice.

It is a little like a Pilates or Yoga course for developing your speaking voice. It is written in 6 chapters, each building on the previous chapter to help you to develop your speaking voice. The accompanying CD takes you through the physical and vocal exercise in the book. While the exercise are good for developing the core muscles (hence my Pilates comment), they are also good for general warm-up (thinking about it they remind me of choir warm-up exercises from high school).

Dr van Vuuren has plenty of experience in the theatre, and many case studies to backup her approach. The book is for sale on her website for R190. You can find out more about her book and workshops on her website.

This is a good book to compliment traditional public speaking training, and I see a place in my bookshelf for it.

Ben Zander in Cape Town

If you want to see a brilliant and inspirational speaker, you have to get tickets to see Ben speak. I have been twice, an it is an incredible inspiring presentation! He will be in Cape Town and Johannesburg in Jan 2011. It is worth every cent.

For details, email [email protected], or goto

Benjamin Zander, world renowned conductor and speaker on leadership, captivates and inspires with his unique style.

Benjamin Zander

Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, is a world renowned speaker on leadership. He has presented at the World Economic Forum many times, and was the opening keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2009.

Benjamin Zander’s presentation takes an audience on a journey that offers a startling new perspective on leadership. Through stories, music and concepts it causes a radical shift in perception. This is not a speech, it is an experience!

In this new model of leadership, the conductor sees his job as awakening possibility in others. The orchestra is a group of highly trained individuals poised to coalesce into an effective whole. Passion, creativity and the desire to contribute are basic human instincts to be released.

World famous conductor, Benjamin Zander uses the metaphor of the orchestra and a life-time of experience conducting, coaching and teaching musicians to work his magic to overcome barriers to corporate productivity. This presentation sources fundamental changes in organizations.

For more information see


Dates: Tues, 25 January 2011
Registration: 08:30 – 09:00
Time: 09:00 – 13:00
Venue: TBC


Dates: Fri, 28 January 2011
Registration: 08:30 – 09:00
Time: 09:00 – 13:00
Venue: Vodaworld, Midrand

Workshop: The Joy and Call of Stories

Here is a workshop that may interest you. It is being run by two very good friends of mine, and it promises to be a first-class event.

Find the Storyteller inside

Telling stories as a lure to the future is an ancient strategy of sages, philosophers and great religious leaders. – Diarmuid O’Murchu

This workshop will show you how to ritualise and energize your life though engaging with stories – those of your own and of others. Climb inside stories and tell them from the inside. Listen to them, Shape them. Taste them on your tongue. Reconnect to creativity, memory and imagination. This workshop experience will energize you. You will get a clearer understanding of how we construct our lives as fiction and how this can release us into a more abundant life. You’ll emerge with stories in your heart and on your lips.

Storyshop Programme

Week 1: The Why of Stories

The power of storytelling to send us travelling and bring us home.

Week 2: Archetypal Stories

Myths and Fairy tales – the story underneath the story.

Shapes, patterns and rituals. Engaging symbols.

Week 3: Sourcing Stories through observation

Listen with the ear in your chest. (Rumi)

Inner and outer looking. Our looking ripens things. (Rilke)

Week 4: Structure your own Stories

Story stones to step on: the symmetry of a tale. Beginnings and endings.

Week 5: Practical: telling Stories

How to tell a story: how to breathe, climb inside it; ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t tell it’.

Make up stories, finding your voice, your silences.

Fabric and fabrication.

Week 6: The Circle and the Fire – A celebration of Story telling

Participants tell and receive stories.

The Joy and Call of Stories Will:

  • explain the power of storytelling
  • give you an understanding of how stories work
  • give you practical tools to work with in the telling of stories
  • help you develop the ability to tell a good story
  • ignite your creativity and imagination


Dorian Haarhoff is a storyteller, writer, mentor and a former Professor of Literature. He is passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination. He believes that stories can heal, build communities and create new worlds.

Kirsten Pearson is a Dialogue facilitator, published poet and the volunteer Project Lead for the Movement for Sharing Life Stories. She promotes story telling as a way to support change, create new realities and transform the potential of our future.

Who will benefit from attending:

Writers, storytellers, readers, travelers, lovers of words, images, silences…therapists, artists, spiritual seekers, coaches, teachers, magicians, tricksters, ecologists…anyone who wants to raise their story IQ.


  • Saturday, 26 September 09: 14:00 – 17:00
  • Saturday, 03 October 09: 14:00 – 17:00
  • Saturday, 10 October 09: 14:00 – 17:00
  • Saturday, 17 October 09: 14:00 – 17:00
  • Saturday, 24 October 09: 14:00 – 17:00
  • Saturday, 31 October: 14:00 – 17:00


Novalis Ubuntu Institute – 39 Rosmead Avenue, Wynberg (a white domed building between Wetton and Ottery Road)


R900.00 (or R150 per week)

Should you wish to pay in instalments of R150 per week, that option is available.

To register

To book, contact Kirsten Pearson on 021 461 3145 or email: [email protected]