I-We-You. Tips for Speakers and Writers (10/27/2020) I-We-You. You’re addressing an audience. When should you switch from the inclusive “we” to the more personal “you?” When is it acceptable to use “I?” When talking about your own experiences, use “I.” Listeners will follow your story as long … READ MORE→
Memorize Your Speech? or Not? (10/13/2020) Should you memorize your speech? Is it okay to use notes? Proponents of memorization rightly assert that it’s difficult to perform well and read a script at the same time. Especially in these days of so much on-screen presentation, we … READ MORE→
Who Are You to Judge? (9/1/2020) Have you ever been disappointed with a judge’s call—in a courtroom, on a ball field, or in a contest? Who are you to judge? In August of 2020, I watched eight finalists compete in the World Championship of Public Speaking, … READ MORE→
Potent Verbs Spice Up Your Storytelling (8/18/2020) Verbs are the engines that move your writing, your speaking, and your readers, but many authors don’t spend enough time choosing the right ones. If your writing was an electric guitar, your verbs would be the volume, tone, and distortion … READ MORE→
Is Your Story Big Enough? (8/4/2020) Is your story big enough? The following passage from The Story Story describes a common speaker’s dilemma. Too many meaningful stories go untold because we fear they’re not as big as someone else’s. “He’s got to be a motivational … READ MORE→
If I Can Do It, You Can Do It Stories: Speaking Mistakes (7/21/2020) If I can do it, you can do it! Well … maybe. Is your story about your extraordinary personal journey? Talking about yourself for your own sake will be perceived by listeners as narcissism or seeking validation. Stories of dramatic … READ MORE→
Who’s Your 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 MORE→
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 MORE→
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 MORE→
Don’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 MORE→
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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!