The Elements of Story (6/11/2018) I never thought I’d learn about business while sailing alone on a small boat at sea, but here’s the story: When I was a young man still in college, I found myself—quite through happenstance—in the company of an odd band… READ ON
Memorize Your Speech? or Not? (10/13/2020) Should you memorize your speech? Is it okay to use notes? Proponents of memorization rightly assert that it's difficult to perform well and read a script at the same time. Especially in these days of so much on-screen presentation, we… READ ON
Home Economics and the “New Normal”new normal (9/29/2020) Getting Forward to New Normal Retailers have been hit hard by COVID19. Foot traffic is down and online retailers are winning the game. But that story is only partially true. Online retailers started winning the game long before COVID19 shuttered… READ ON
Don’t Hire Experts and Tell Them What to Do! (9/14/2020) Too many professionals buy the story that expertise is a commodity: Hire an expert, tell them what to do, and get the job done. Experts are experts because they know more than you do about their professional discipline. Experts are… READ ON
Who Are You to Judge? (9/1/2020) Have you ever been disappointed with a judge's call—in a courtroom, on a ball field, or in a contest? Who are you to judge? In August of 2020, I watched eight finalists compete in the World Championship of Public Speaking,… READ ON
Potent Verbs Spice Up Your Storytellingverbs word cloud (8/18/2020) Verbs are the engines that move your writing, your speaking,  and your readers, but many authors don’t spend enough time choosing the right ones. If your writing was an electric guitar, your verbs would be the volume, tone, and distortion… READ ON
Is Your Story Big Enough?is-your-story-big-enough (8/4/2020) Is your story big enough? The following passage from The Story Story describes a common speaker’s dilemma. Too many meaningful stories go untold because we fear they’re not as big as someone else's.   “He’s got to be a motivational… READ ON
If I Can Do It, You Can Do It Stories: Speaking Mistakesif-i-can-do-it-you-can-do-it (7/21/2020) If I can do it, you can do it! Well … maybe. Is your story about your extraordinary personal journey? Talking about yourself for your own sake will be perceived by listeners as narcissism or seeking validation. Stories of dramatic… READ ON
How Do Stories Work?how stories work (7/7/2020) How do stories work? You knew that movie was going to stink as soon as you got through the opening scene … but you sat through the whole thing to find out how the story ended. Numerous studies have explored… READ ON
Who’s Your Meeting Monster?meeting monster (6/23/2020) What is a meeting monster? My daughter asked me to spend some time with her. “I can’t right now,” I replied. I’m the meeting monitor today.” She shot me a funny look. “Daddy, what’s a meeting monster?” The name stuck.… READ ON
Cigarettes,
Leaf-Blowers, and COVID-19
(6/9/2020) I’m that annoying neighbor—the bad guy—the one who’s always complaining about my rights … . or at least that’s the story my neighbors tell. While enjoying the sanctuary of my backyard one cool February afternoon, my bliss was interrupted by… READ ON

 

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Every two weeks, I send out a new article about business communication. Storytelling, writing, and presentation skills are common topics, though I’ve been known to throw in an occasional oddball post around the holidays. Your questions and comments are always welcome!