The Storysailing Blog

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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 of folks who lived aboard their sailboats in the free anchorage in Miami. The stories… READ ON
Public Speaking Tip: Speechcrafting Goes Beyond Speechwritingspeechcrafting (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 their mark. The charisma of an engaging performer may bring an audience to their feet,… READ ON
Stone Soupstone soup header (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, 1954 In Sylacauga, Alabama Ann Hodges was lying on her couch Asleep In her apartment… 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 an­i­mated Christ­mas shows fea­tur­ing doe-eyed chil­dren who found their way home be­cause they be­lieved. And at fif­teen… 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, their music sounds inauthentic. To play true avant-garde music, the musician (or any other kind… READ ON
Public Speaking Tip: Use Your Full Speaking Rangespeaking-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 “pianoforte”—Italian for “loud-soft”—due to the power it gave musicians to change the volume—the dynamics—by pressing… 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 what you do with your spacebar in the privacy of your own home or office.… READ ON
Public Speaking Tip: Speaking is a Service Industry (10/28/2019) Speakers are commonly asked, “What’s your topic?” or “What’s your message?” Such questions may sound intuitively reasonable but they lead would-be speakers astray before the first word is written. Questions about “your topic” or “your message” imply that your speech is about you.   The purpose of a speech is to transform an audience.  … READ ON
The “Become a Millionaire Speaker” Storymillionaire-speaker (10/15/2019) A friend asked if he should take a day off work to attend a free “Become a Millionaire Speaker or Coach!” seminar. No. Don’t quit your day job—even for a day. I’m sure the session offers hours of true and valuable information, but … a lot of programs like this trade on the idea that… READ ON
The Time and Tempo of Storytellingtime and tempo header (10/1/2019) Great storytellers are masters of time and tempo. What is this mysterious thing called “time?” Does it flow at the same speed for everyone? If we encounter a life-threatening situation, time is a stream of cold honey. If we’re nervous or excited, time races. Look at nothing but a sea horizon for a week and… READ ON
Shared Stories and The Next Generation (9/16/2019) Hooray for Hollywood! Well … maybe; maybe not. Movies about rock stars’ journeys and superheroes (Is there really a difference?) may amount to no more than the latest money grab by motion picture studios and music labels (Is there really a difference?), but whether intended or not, baby-boomers like me who grew up on comic… READ ON
 
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Dave Bricker: StorySailing®