Category: Storytelling

Don’t Get Mad. Make It Up.

It started out as a joke, a silly way for us to blow off steam. We invented something out of sheer frustration. Ever since I started teaching creative writing, students have been asking me for the magical elixir: What is the formula for writing a story? I found this exasperating

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How Long Is Too Short?

When it comes to professional development, how long does a training have to be? The answer of course is, it depends. Imagine preparing to teach and standing in front of a roomful of quiet, nervous colleagues who don’t know each other and aren’t quite sure what to expect from this

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Want your point to have power? Here are 7 things NOT to say.

Lucky you! You get to speak at an industry event, corporate conference, or team meeting.  No doubt, your presentation will include a set of slides. Slides are a de facto requirement for most business presentations. You gotta have ‘em, right? Incidentally, Jill and I have decided we don’t gotta have

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Smile! You’re On Camera

Video. When I watch myself in a video it’s sort of an out-of-body experience; is that really me on the screen? Do I look like that? Why do I keep doing that weird thing with my eyebrows? We are forever critical of ourselves and our presentation to the public. So

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Your predictable headlines have no story to tell

As the holidays approach, I’m refining a new party trick. Let me try it on you, right now. “I bet I can guess the slide headlines on your most recent presentation.” “No way,” you say. “You don’t even know what I do for a living. You don’t know who was

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toy robot

Am I Out of a Job?

Have you see Flippy, the robot designed to manage the fryer in fast food restaurants? It’s pretty amazing until you watch it for a few minutes and realize how terrifyingly human it seems. It’s “artificial intelligence” or AI, and is supposed to help cook french fries better, faster, and safer. It solves

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stretched clock face

Do You Have the Right Time?

The best writers–creative and business–understand the importance and power of time I’m waiting for the plumber to arrive. Ever since our revered plumber/friend Larry retired, our plumbing issues have either been ignored or a fix has been attempted by me. Never a good idea. There is mold making itself at

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Can You Meal Prep Your Blog Posts?

I’d rather just skip a meal if I can’t think of what to make or I don’t have something easy already prepared. Hmm, sounds a bit like my writing habit at times. If I don’t have an idea, a first line, an image…something to get started with, then it’s easier

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Unspoken Loudspeakers are drowning out your message

“What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Shhhh! I’m trying to hear you. I really am. I know you’ve put serious thought into those words you’re trying to share right now. Whether your message is written or spoken, I know you

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Persuasion: the teeter-totter of business communication

As a kid on the playground, one of my favorite attractions was the teeter-totter. Maybe you called it a seesaw. A teeter-totter is a dangerous apparatus, not to be shared with anyone but a friend you can trust to keep the thing in balance. I still recall the pain and

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