Tag Archives: news

A Traveler’s Tale: Writing and Storytelling in Morocco

Last October I stepped out of my frenetic, overcommitted “real life” to embark on a 10-day writing and storytelling trek in Morocco. Our group convened in Marrakech and then traveled to the village of Moulay Idriss, at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, to learn the art of storytelling at the feet of Haj, one of the few remaining traditional Moroccan storytellers in the country, and his small band of student apprentices.photo 2 Over Moroccan mint tea and spicy chicken tagine, our group spent countless hours workshopping on rooftop garden terraces, breathing sandalwood incense and listening to the donkeys bray as we constructed narratives that we were learning to take from the page to the stage. After an erratic rehearsal on a five hour train ride, our adventure culminated where it began — in Marrakech — where we performed our masterpieces in front of an international audience at renowned Café Clock in the heart of Marrakech’s main square. The experience was nothing short of magical and I returned to 10Fold and my home of San Francisco refreshed, enlightened and invigorated, prepared to look at my clients’ needs in a new light.

“Over Moroccan mint tea and spicy chicken tagine, our group spent countless hours workshopping on rooftop garden terraces, breathing sandalwood incense and listening to the donkeys bray.”

So what do the needs of our B2B storage, Big Data, enterprise and security clients have to do with traditional Moroccan storytellers – who, I might add, can only be understood in French and Arabic?

It turns out, a lot.

Perhaps one of the most significant lessons I garnered from the trip was how to deliver a truly meaningful, memorable and impactful presentation to an audience – a lesson that translates across all cultures and experiences, whether you’re telling traditional Moroccan fables in the village square, speaking to the media on a technology trends or imparting your company’s value to VCs.

Regardless of the side of the world on which you might reside, here some of the most salient takeaways when presenting to an audience:

“Beat Out” Your Presentation:
A traveller tale: Marocco
That’s right, create beats. This has to do with the way people hear things. In fact, most people hear things very differently from the way they read or see them. While we can follow relatively complex storylines in books and articles, we remember surprisingly few details when listening to an oral presentations.

So to make your presentation more memorable, create three main points – and stick to those throughout. These points will enable your audience to remember the most important messages you want conveyed, and allow them to easily follow your progression. They also serve as figurative “pillars” when you’re transitioning, in case you get lost.

Slow It Down
They say speak as if your audience is slightly hard of hearing. While this may be an exaggeration, it’s not much of one. Most people tend to speak faster when they get nervous – and in front of an audience, you’re guaranteed to feel at least a few butterflies. Take a deep breath, and then consciously annunciate each word at a reduced speed. What may sound exaggeratedly slow to you will likely be clear and conversational to your audience. And by breathing through your presentation, you’ll probably be able to calm your nerves a bit as well.

Reiterate Your Messages:
Whether you’re storytelling or presenting to the board, you want to ensure that your audience truly understands the points you’re trying to get across. After you take your audience on your narrative journey through all three of your “beats,” find a creative way to summarize your points again in the conclusion. This will effectively hammer those messages home and provide a sense of closure for the audience.

If Nothing Else, Be Sure to Have a Strong Beginning and Ending
A traveller tale: Marocco
Of course you want your audience to remember all of your presentation. Realistically, though, the details and plot points in the middle will tend to blend, but people will almost always remember the way you enter and how you exit your presentation. The beginning is your opportunity to get – and with luck, keep — their attention. And even if you lose it along the way, the ending is likely what they’ll remember long after they’ve moved on with the rest of their day. This is your opportunity to keep them wanting more, so hit ‘em hard.

Stefanie Hoffman
Senior Media Strategist & Lead Writer
10Fold Communications



If you were to sum up 10Fold Communications’ value proposition in two words, they would be “sales support.” Whether representing a white-hot technology company on the verge of an IPO or an emerging tech start-up, 10Fold Communications, a top PR firm in San Francisco, East Bay and Southern California applies a sales-driven angle to every campaign and program it executes, with a strategic approach to move the needle. What’s more, we practice what we preach, with a first-of-its-kind forecasting model and MetricsMatter™ methodology that guarantees qualitative and quantitative results. Follow our blog for news and client success results.


February 2018: 7th Security Never Sleeps Luncheon Event

Biggest reason for a security breach is still what they fondly referred to as an “oops.”
SNS10Fold hosted our eighth annual Security Never Sleeps event during the 2018 North American RSA trade show yesterday. The event is conveniently located within walking distance of the Moscone Center at the Red Dog Café in San Francisco. Building on the success of the events previous years, the luncheon had more than 90 attendees made of up CISOs, security architects, venture capitalists, and security vendors participating in the cybersecurity discussion. The conversation facilitated a dialogue between Security vendors and buyers, enabling a marketplace of ideas that helped all attendees perfect their communication strategies. Read a full summary in our blog post <here>

October 2017: 7th Media SharkTank

Top 3 Biggest Tips for Business Press Pitching
MSTThe Annual Media SharkTank Charitable Event, now having run for its seventh year, allows tech marketing executives to test their business pitch with a group of well-respected business and broadcast media. The purpose of the event is to allow them to test their pitch in a safe and controlled environment, so when they do get a real chance to pitch a story, they are confident they can be successful. This year we held the event on October 12 at San Francisco’s Hotel Vitale, and 12 executives delivered their three-minute pitches in private rooms. The ‘sharks’ provided valuable 1:1 feedback that the executives were then able to use in their next pitch (as they actually pitched two rooms of journalists at the event). Read a full summary in our blog post <here>

March 2017: Wikibon Big Data Horizons Event

BDH A select group of data scientists and big data industry executives discuss trends such as AI and machine learning. This small group of forward thinkers discuss how these new technologies will fundamentally change how we interact with data and change entire industries. Held during Strata + Hadoop World SV in San Jose, this event provides an opportunity to look ahead beyond the hype. Wikibon’s Lead Big Data & Machine Learning Analyst George Gilbert led the discussions at the roundtable.

February 2017: 7th Security Never Sleeps Luncheon Event

Biggest reason for a security breach is still what they fondly referred to as an “oops.”
SNSThis year 10Fold hosted its seventh annual Security Never Sleeps event during the 2017 RSA Conference trade show. This year’s event, held at the Red Dog restaurant just a few steps from the Moscone convention center included more than 80 CISOs, security architects, venture capitalists and security vendors participating in spirited discussions about the latest trends shaping the network security landscape. The luncheon event featured a panel of experts including Mike Kearn – Principal Security Architect & ISO – Consumer Banking Division of US Bank, Suzanne Hartin – Chief Risk Officer at Early Warning, Daniel Ennis – retired Director of the Threat Operations Center for the NSA and current CISSM Senior Fellow & Executive Director Cyber Initiative at University of Maryland. The panel was moderated by Joseph Blankenship – Senior Security Analyst at Forrester. The diverse panel discussed a wide variety of topics, including the impact of IoT on security, governmental regulations, and the fact that the biggest reason for a breach is still what they fondly referred to as an “oops.”

October 2016: 6th Media SharkTank

Top 3 Biggest Tips for Business Press Pitching
MST10Fold’s annual charitable event Media SharkTank garnered critical insights from top tier media and raised $15,000 in donations for the non-profit San Francisco Baykeeper. 10Fold’s annual Media SharkTank event took place October 13, 2016 at Hotel Vitale in San Francisco. Now in its sixth year, Media SharkTank is an opportunity for high-tech companies to test their business pitch with high-profile print and online business journalists. Critical insights were garnered from written feedback provided by two panels of six top-tier Bay Area reporters (12 total) serving as judges for the event. While feedback was tailored specifically to each participant, consistent themes emerged that could be universally applied to vendors seeking to hone their presentation skills and capture the attention of business media. A full description of the event and the Top 3 Biggest Tips for Business Press Pitching as identified by the judges can be found <here>

October 2015: 5th Media SharkTank Event

MSTPitch your story to the top broadcast and business press at the Annual Media SharkTank Charitable Event. SharkTank, now in its fifth year, allows Bay Area executives to “test” their business pitch with top members of the print, online and broadcast media. Deliver that three-minute pitch to a panel of the nation’s sharpest broadcast and business press journalists, who will provide valuable, private, 1:1 feedback based on their expert opinion. Need more more “bite” ? See the video for a quick impression and testimonials from last years participants…. A full description of the 2015 event can be found <here>

April 2015: 5th Security Never Sleeps Luncheon

SNS10Fold Communications’ fifth annual Security Never Sleeps event. The 2015 version of the luncheon featured a panel discussion and audience Q&A with some of the cyber security industry’s leading executives, media and analysts. Held during the RSA Conference, this year’s event delivered on great food, wine and discussion around the top trends in security, marketing, news and how organizations become top influencers in the market. A full description of the 2015 event can be found <here>