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
Speakers, Never Say You’re Sorry (5/26/2020) Love means never having to say you're sorry. “I’m sorry, but I had only an hour to put this speech together.” “I’m sorry … I need to look at my notes.” “I’m sorry to get started late; the traffic was… READ ON
Stage Fright: Turn Nervous into Service (5/12/2020) Advice on how to deal with stage fright ranges from absurd (don’t picture the audience naked unless you’re speaking at a super-model convention—and that could be distracting) to just plain useless. The popular assumption is that people are naturally fearful… READ ON
Don’t Break the Fifth Walldon't break the fifth wall (4/28/2020) Actors refer to an invisible “fourth wall” between the stage and the audience. In a play, audiences view the proceedings with a special anonymity. Actors portray an alternative reality that rarely acknowledges the presence of an audience in an auditorium.… READ ON
Speak Standing Up!speak standing up (4/14/2020) I’ve been videoconferencing for years; this will be easy! I thought as I began my first virtual speech. When it was over, I was surprised at my lackluster performance, and by the number of filler words I used—ums, ers, and… READ ON
Videoconferencing: 11 Tips You Haven’t Seen (But Should) (3/31/2020) You’ve already read at least a dozen articles about ZOOM and videoconferencing that remind you to mute yourself when you’re not talking and look into the camera. Here are eleven important video tips you haven’t read before but should.  … READ ON
Public Speaking Tip: Body Language and Spoken Languagebody language header (3/17/2020) Body language and spoken language: Combine them strategically to enhance audience engagement. In my 2019 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest entry, I parodied the “speaker’s journey” from being paralyzed by fear to joining Toastmasters to becoming a confident presenter. (Toastmasters International… READ ON
StorySailing®: Reconstructing the Gettysburg Address (3/3/2020) Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg address has been recorded by numerous orators over the years, including Orson Welles, but few of these works suggest that the speakers did anything more than read with conviction. How do you reconstruct a speech that… 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!