Public Speaking Tip: Body Language and Spoken Language (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
Vote Yourself Off the I-Land; Sail a You-Boat (2/18/2020) You’re either talking about your audience … or you’re talking about yourself. Too many speakers are “opera singers” (me-me-me-me-me-me-me). Vote yourself off the I-Land; explore the world in a You-boat. I believe speakers should focus on the audience. In… READ ON
Two-Word Clichés for Writers and Speakers (2/4/2020) Two-word clichés are perhaps the least obvious kind. Unless we’re vigilant, they sneak into our prose, steal color, mask our individual voice, and make us sound like millions of other writers and speakers who all mindlessly employ the same worn… READ ON
Public Speaking Tip: Speechcrafting Goes Beyond Speechwriting (1/21/2020) Speechcrafting is a special discipline of which speechwriting is but a single element. The effective speechcrafting professional understands the art of narrative and also the power of stagecraft—timing, pauses, dynamics, gestures. Eloquent words delivered by a lackluster presenter will miss… READ ON
Stone Soup (1/6/2020) A little storytelling fun: a poem by yours truly. The title is a reference to the traditional Stone Soup folktale. What role does the context provided by understanding the title play in the interpretation of the story? In November,… READ ON
The Truth About Christmas : A Parable (12/23/2019) Jefferson Baugh despised Christmas. He hated the incessant month-long cacophony of pop-music-infused holiday carols that began the day after Thanksgiving and droned on through New Years. He loathed holiday sales and the annual cycle of rampant commercialism. He scoffed at… READ ON
Storytelling and The Avant Garde (12/9/2019) An accomplished jazz musician, educator, and friend pointed out that too many virtuosic young players blow a lot of noisy notes with fire and conviction, ignore the structure of the music, and brand themselves as “avant garde.” To his ears,… READ ON
Public Speaking Tip: Use Your Full Speaking Range (11/25/2019) Speaking range is as important to a presentation as musical range is to performance. Actors refer to the combination of body and voice as an “instrument.” A piano has an eight-octave range of pitch, and the piano was originally named… READ ON
How Many Spaces After a Period? A Battle of Stories (11/11/2019) How many spaces after a period? One or two? I researched and wrote an article about this frequently debated matter in my publishing blog that attracted hundreds of thousands of readers. The meaningful answer is that it really doesn’t matter… 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!