Posts About Writing & Speaking

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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 is a global organization dedicated to the art of leadership through public speaking. Another tip: […]
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 was delivered 150 years ago—in the days before microphones, amplifiers, and recording technology? Historical research […]
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 my experience, the best way to engage people is to make your content relevant. If […]
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 out word combinations. I find countless examples even while editing the work of accomplished authors. I […]
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, […]
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 […]
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. […]
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.   […]
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 […]
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 […]
 
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Dave Bricker: StorySailing®