What will you bring to show-and-tell?

Remember show-and-tell—when you brought a favourite toy to class, showed it off and told everyone why they should like it, too? It was always exciting, and a great way to find out which of your classmates shared similar interests. Wouldn’t it be great if there was something like show-and-tell for grown-ups?

There is: your blog. It’s the perfect platform to show the world what you’ve done and tell us what you can do for us.


If you own or manage a business, chances are you’ve got an interesting story to tell. You’ve got a personal history that led you to this point, and a business history to back it. Maybe your tax advice has helped your customers save thousands of dollars. Maybe you’ve been recognised as the top nail technician in your region. Maybe your bed and breakfast continually receives really high reviews on TripAdvisor.

Especially in Australia, where the Tall Poppy Syndrome has hit epidemic proportions, it can be difficult to talk about these successes with our friends, let alone with strangers. You might feel shy, or embarrassed. You might worry about coming across as vain or arrogant. You might not know where to start.

But it’s important to tell your success stories, even if you’re uncomfortable doing so, because they get attention. They attract the customers who want to know how you’ve made a difference in the real world, for real people paying real money.

So, have you thought about how you’ll tell your story—and whether you’re the best person for that job? Whether you hire a copywriter or do it yourself, you’ll need to construct stories that hold your readers’ attention and leave them wanting more.

Tips for telling your story

Start with a hook: it’s often more interesting if you don’t start at the beginning. Did you save a fortune for one of your customers? Or did someone come to you with a problem that looked like one thing, but turned out to be another thing entirely? Start there.

Skip over the boring bits: the fine details may have been critical for solving your customer’s problem, but that doesn’t mean they’re critical for telling your story.

Make a point: when your reader gets to the end of your great story, they’re going to ask, ‘What’s next?’ Don’t make them figure out the answer on their own—put it right there where they can see it.

Editing pro-tip

Don’t just write about the characters in your business story—bring them to life with indirect quotes (paraphrasing what they’ve said) highlighted by punchy direct quotes (speech). But be careful not to repeat yourself in the process!