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
Phil Woods: Is Your Work Beneath You? (9/14/2021) I was frustrated the other day, thinking about how I need a better computer. Some of my software is out of date and my machine just doesn’t have the speed and the memory to support some of the the new… READ ON
Sexual Harassment – Rewriting the Story (8/31/2021) Is sexual harassment a problem, or a symptom of a larger, deeper issue? The answer depends on the stories we use to define and discuss it. Challenge: Write a story about sexual harassment. Use fictional avatar characters. (If you call… READ ON
Be an Effective Storyteller. Try Story Listening (8/17/2021) Storytelling is a powerful tool, but no one ever talks about story listening. Have you ever been with a friend, family member, client, or colleague and assumed they were thinking and feeling something completely different from what they actually were?… READ ON
English Pet Peeves for Storytellers (8/3/2021) Discussions of English pet peeves provide an entertaining forum for the expression of ire. In fact, if a “pet” is something we cherish, and a “peeve” is something that annoys us, “pet peeves” are what we love to hate. Misusing… READ ON
Another Boring Speaker! The Problem and How to Fix It. (7/20/2021) “This should be a great presentation,” said Jess as we walked into the Chamber of Commerce breakfast and grabbed a table near the platform. The speaker made a gazillion dollars taking startups public. He’s the CEO of…” “Why does everyone… READ ON
Superhero Stories (7/6/2021) When I was young, I collected superhero stories and comic books. I was fascinated by the exploits of the same characters—Ironman, Spiderman, Superman, and others—who inspire movie-watchers today. The comic book was for me, the ultimate storytelling medium, a combination… READ ON
Selling the Story: Storytelling for Skeptics (6/22/2021) “Storytelling…? I don’t know.” A troubled look flashed across Sally’s face. “You'll have a hard time selling me on your topic. Last year’s speaker was a dud. I need to deliver some wow-factor this year or I might not be… READ ON
Story Themes: The Unlikely Teacher (6/8/2021) The unlikely teacher is one of my favorite story themes, partially because I’ve been fortunate to have had wonderful, unlikely teachers in my own life, but also because it suggests pathways and opportunities for us to transform our lives and… READ ON
Are Your Messages Missing the Mark? (5/25/2021) Are your messages missing the mark? Are your stories clear and accurate or are your meanings lost in translation? The storyteller’s challenge is to convert abstract and intangible ideas, experiences, emotions, and memories into sounds or characters on a page… 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!