As a professional trainer and motivational speaker, I have used many stories and metaphors to teach, illustrate a point and to keep my audiences engaged and entertained.  I have found that they are an excellent way to connect with my audience, where the left brain is engaged processing the logic and the right brain is engaged with the visual images and emotions.

In my book, ENGAGE: The Parable of the Pencil and other Empowering Stories, I compiled stories to share with fellow trainers.  I am also an NLP Master Trainer and metaphors are useful in coaching where they help to loosen the client’s model of the world.  So I thought I would share some of the stories from the book over the coming blogs and hope that you may find some enlightenment and inspirations from them.

The first story is written by one of my MasterClass Train The Trainer graduates, Kit Lim, who loved our training programs so much that “she came and never left” and is now our country director in Malaysia.


I can still vividly recall when a dear friend of mine was going to Cambridge University in the UK for her postgraduate studies. As you may know, the easiest way to get around Cambridge is by bicycles.

My friend, who had never ridden a bicycle in her life, decided that she needed to learn to ride so that she could get around much easier.

I offered to teach her how to ride the bicycle. So one weekend, I drove up from London to meet up with her. We went to the local shop to rent a bicycle for the weekend and went to a deserted car park so she could practise.

She was very excited with this and she had already been to the library to borrow books to learn how to ride a bicycle. She was confident that she knew what to do and that she would master it in no time.

Imagine her surprise when she got on the bicycle only to fall off almost immediately.

This continued for quite a while. Seeing how she was struggling with this, I suggested that we should fix some training wheels to the bicycle so that she could get used to cycling first.

Reluctantly, she agreed to this and had a great time riding around with the assistance of the training wheels. So much so that, when I then suggested that we take them off and she learn to ride properly, she was rather unwilling to do so.

Finally after much persuasion, the training wheels came off but it took many attempts and bruised knees and elbows before she finally got the hang of it.

No matter how easy something appears to be, it is only when you do it yourself that you realize what it is like.

And even with the best support, you need to take risks, let go of the ‘training wheels’ and perhaps get bruised or shaken in the process to truly appreciate what you need to learn.

The learning is in the doing.

You can get a copy of the book, ENGAGE: The Parable of the Pencil & Other Empowering Stories online from (Available in hard copy or pdf)