Helen and Berice (both now retired) offered Customised Workshops in:

  • Storytelling skills,
  • Speaking and Communication Skills,
  • Writing,
  • Life Skills – Happiness

Want to…

  • Spin a Yarn?
  • Weave a story?
  • Stitch up a family patchwork?
  • Tailor a speech to fit the occasion?

Have Magic Carpet… Will Travel


Helen McKay and Berice Dudley, co-authors of About Storytelling and Riotous Riddles, are accredited public speakers and trainers, and experienced workshop facilitators, working either independently, or as a team, offering techniques, to help all communicators develop their communication skills, especially in storytelling and writing.

The telling of stories is woven into the fabric of every culture throughout the world. Berice and Helen strive to dispel the myth that storytelling is for children only, by showing its relevance to all facets of adult life. They feel it’s wonderful to be able to draw people into a world created by words and mesmerise them with an unfolding tale.

Storytelling is at the heart of good communication skills, entraining listeners and teller, making it easier to get a message through.

We focus on:

  • understanding your audience,
  • knowing and choosing the right story
  • making that essential connection with listeners, fundamental to successful communication.

We teach practical methods and innovative techniques that can be used immediately. Our programs, based on latest research, are consistently well received.

Writing techniques we promote, are equally valid for writers, who learn the skills of oral editing; invaluable in bringing stories alive, before they are written down.

All workshops are individually tailored to the special needs of organisations and presented as one workshop, mini-course, or in-service program.

Our topics, each timed for one and a half-hour’s duration, include a quarter of an hour of questions and discussion. Two topics equals: one morning, afternoon or evening session. Presentations may be combined, to fill a day with creativity and learning.

Emma Chissitt? – Fees:

Fees for presentations vary, as workshops are customised, according to your specific requirements. Fees charged, depend on the number of participants and time allotted. We are happy to discuss your particular requirements. GST is added to our fees and included in our quotation.


We are happy to travel anywhere; but where the venue is located more than 20 kilometres from our home, travel and/or accommodation expenses if needed, are added to our fee.

Interstate travel – by invitation – would be considered. However, we would require transport and accommodation to be provided. These costs may be reduced considerably, by sharing the presenters with other local groups, who are interested in similar speaking engagements, workshops, storytelling presentations, or life skills sessions.

Examples of workshops:

Storytelling Workshop Topics:

  • Capturing Your Audience
  • Create – Relate a Story
  • Enhancing Your Story With Aids & Objects
  • Finding Your Own Story
  • Flying Leap
  • Make it Memorable
  • Memorizing Techniques
  • Story Reading Techniques
  • Story Selection
  • The Elusive Connection
  • The Relevance of the Myth
  • Timing: for You and Your Story
  • Tuck and Fit; Tailoring Your Story
  • Wrap it in Story; for Public Speakers
  • Passing on Your Life Stories

Writing Topics

  • Creating interesting short stories
  • Writing stimulating, informative articles
  • Planning and Writing a larger work; Non-Fiction
  • Planning and Writing a Novel
  • Your Life Stories


  • Simple Delivery Techniques for Speakers
  • Planning a speech through to delivery
  • Wrap it in Story; Getting Your Message Across
  • The Elusive Connection

Life Issues

  • Links to Your Happiness – The Happy Book
  • Meeting Life’s Challenges – Overcoming adversity
  • The Healing Power of Laughter
  • Colour your Life with Vibrant, Happy Colour
  • Synchronicity – the Happy Accidents (Opportunities)

Recent Notable Workshops:

  • “Fascinate and Educate with Stories” – Tocal Tour Guides, Tocal Agricultural College.
  • “A Happy Strategy” – Commonwealth Carers Conference 2009, Canberra.
  • “Tell a Stunning Story” – a workshop for University of Newcastle, Education Faculty students.
  • “Storytelling Skills” – Workshop for Joey Scout Leaders Speers Point.
  • “Keys to Your Happiness” – View clubs of Lake Macquarie, Dora Creek
  • “Remembering the Royal” – Stories of the Royal Newcastle Hospital, Seniors Week, at Newcastle Library
  • “Keeping the Stories Alive” – Seniors Week Storytelling Session, at Forster Library,
  • “Rags to Riches” and “Cross Currents'” – Australian National Story Confest, Brisbane
  • “Storytelling for Primary Teachers” – Avondale University College, Education Faculty
  • “Create – Relate” – Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese, Teachers Conference
  • “Create – Relate” – Making Your Story Memorable.
    Australian National Story Confest, Adelaide
    Australian National Story Confest, Canberra
    Australian National Library Storytelling Conference, Canberra, (storytelling paper, discussion group).
    Australian National Storytelling Festival, Sydney

On Air Interviews

  • Helen and Berice were interviewed on radio at: 2SER FM, 2 CBA FM, 2RRR, 2NSB, 2BL, 2GO, Gosford. Radio National – Queensland, Wollongong, Adelaide

Some places we have presented:

  • Tocal Agricultural College, Patterson, NSW
  • Commonwealth Carers Conference 2009, Canberra
  • University of Newcastle, NSW – Education Faculty
  • ACT Winters Tales Festival, Canberra.
  • Australian National Library Storytelling Conference, Canberra
  • Australian National Speakers Assn
  • Australian National Story Confest, Adelaide
  • Australian National Story Confest, Brisbane
  • Australian National Story Confest, Canberra
  • Australian National Storytelling Festival, Sydney
  • Avondale University College, Cooranbong – Education Faculty
  • Bayview School, Glenfield, NZ
  • Booringen Aboriginal Centre (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Camden South Primary School
  • Carlingford Court Shoppers Club, Wednesday Club (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Chatswood, Roselands (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Confratute Downunder, St Catherines Sch, Waverley:
  • Connecticut Puppetry School USA, Shadow Puppets
  • Country Women’s Assn: Strathfield. (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Fairfield Hts School – Multicultural events
  • Forster Library, Seniors Week Storytelling Workshop
  • Golden A’s – Eastgate, Bondi Junction (Storytelling, Life Issues).
  • Golden Oldies – Carlingford, Parramatta, Roselands, Macquarie, (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Great Lakes FAW story/writing workshop, Forster
  • Hunter Region Joey Scouts Leaders workshop storytelling skills Speers Point
  • International Training and Communication Inc: Dundas
  • International Training and Communication Inc:Liverpool.
  • Kempsey Library, South West Rocks
  • Little Bay Coast Centre For Seniors (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Liverpool Library: Storytelling Cafe.
  • Lyceum Club, Sydney
  • Macquarie University
  • Maitland – Newcastle Diocese Catholic Primary Teachers Conference, Newcastle
  • Manly Children’s Festival
  • Mellons Bay School, Auckland, NZ
  • Mt Wilga Lymphoedema Association (Life Skills)
  • Mudgee Women Writers (Writing, Storytelling)
  • Necta: School of Performing Arts, Newtown.
  • Newcastle Library, Seniors Week Storytelling, “Remembering the Royal”
  • New Zealand Glistening Waters Festival, Masterton, NZ
  • Normanhurst Church of Latter Day Saints.
  • Northern Catholic Primary Teacher-Librarians Assn Conference, Terrigal
  • NSW Parks and Wildlife Service, Blackheath – Guides workshop
  • NSW State Library Aust Day performance
  • Powerhouse, NSW, performance children 4-12 years
  • Roselands, Prince Henry Hospital (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Rossmore School – Grannies days.
  • Rotary at Dural, Seven Hills (Storytelling, Life Issues)
  • Royal Blind Society Children’s Xmas Party, Lake Munmorah
  • Southern Librarians Conference: Wollongong Library
  • St Johns Parish Church, Annual Dinner, Dee Why
  • Storytelling performances in: Melbourne, Alaska, Louisville – Kentucky, University of Connecticut, Florida, Seattle, Raquette Lake – NY State, US.
  • Sutherland Library: Story Cafe
  • Tamworth Public Library
  • Toastmasters NSW Convention: Newcastle (Humourous Storytelling Workshop).
  • Ultimo Library: Western Sydney, Milperra.
  • University of Western Sydney & University of Connecticut(US).
  • View Club, Dee Why, Seven Hills, Dora Creek, Merewether – Newcastle (Happiness)
  • Warnervale School Performances
  • Western Area Teacher-Librarians Conference, Pendle Hill
  • Westmead Hospital Lymphoedema Group (Life Issues)
  • Willoughby Library – Story Cafe

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