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
Stuck in the Wrong Story? Need a Bigger Bucket? (5/11/2021) Getting stuck in the wrong story can feel productive, but it traps us in conflict and prevents us from reaching our meaningful goals. I was sitting in the cockpit of my sailboat one evening when I spied a small… READ ON
Problem-Solving & Storytelling: Understand Their Story (4/27/2021) Use storytelling for problem-solving. Think about the various stories involved in a conflict and plot a course for resolution. Seen through the StorySailing™ spyglass, a story is analogous to the voyage of a sailboat across the rocky, stormy seas of… READ ON
Tempest in the Lizard Kingdom: A True Christmas Tale (12/21/2020) In 1989, as a 25-year-old sailing solo on a 26-foot sailboat, I spent a surreal Christmas weathering a North Atlantic gale, at anchor in a not-so-sheltered place in the central Bahamas. This piece was originally published in my sailing memoir,… READ ON
Pitch Trolls in the NidekniL Marketplace (12/8/2020) Nideknil Marketplace was all hustle and bustle. Colorful signs above the merchant stalls proclaimed the advantages of endless products and services. Businesspeople crowded the aisles, picking up samples and literature and talking to the vendors. The pitch-trolls were out in… READ ON
Storytellers: Be a Journeyist, Not a Journalist (11/10/2020) Be a journeyist, not a journalist. The purpose of a speech is to transform the audience—to elicit some change in thought, feeling, or action. The purpose of the audience is not to help you unburden yourself of your story. Life… READ ON
I-We-You. Tips for Speakers and Writers (10/27/2020) I-We-You. You’re addressing an audience. When should you switch from the inclusive “we” to the more personal “you?” When is it acceptable to use “I?” When talking about your own experiences, use “I.” Listeners will follow your story as long… 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” (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
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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!