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
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 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… 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,… 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

 

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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!