Words carry more than information. The words you choose change the texture, the flavor of the information. They change the way readers view the world.
For instance, my public speaking students frequently choose “Legalization of Marijuana” as a topic. (The fact that they have been choosing this topic for over 30 years says something about our nation, but that’s for another article.) The audience of college students has probably heard this discussed dozens of times in various settings. So I suggest instead they discuss “Relegalization of Marijuana.” That often makes audiences cock their heads, the way a dog looks at a ceiling fan. That recasting of the topic can completely change the way the speaker approaches the topic and the way the audience hears it. Continue reading “The texture of words”
I got behind on posting updates here, but I’ve been getting a lot of writing done on Medium. (Follow me there.) As my own writing evolves, I continue to focus on effective communication, but I’m also branching out into other areas of interest. This blog is, therefore, more and more focusing on my work as a writer in general. Accordingly, I will start including here links to things other than just communication-related posts, but I will use subheads to help you find the things you are most interested in.
Today I’m getting everything caught up—all the articles so far in March. I will then start sharing a roundup post each Friday, so the email list remains the best way to keep up with such posts.
I write on life management topics as well, so if you would like to see everything I write, follow me on Medium or look on Patreon for access to everything, including material that otherwise would only be available to Medium members (although you could just join Medium).
Here is the index post of Medium articles I’ve posted through February—or at least the ones connected to effective communication. I’ll catch up on March a little later. If you would like to see all of my Medium articles, you can find them here.
Long-time readers (and there are several of you out there—thank you!) know that I have gone through periods of not posting much. You might think that I’ve just gone through one of those and that it’s related to the loss of my son, which is the last thing I wrote about here.
I’m thinking about starting a new podcast focused around “Life Switchers”—people who have made a major change in their lives such as going from being a corporate drone to a business owner, or from a high-level executive to a school teacher. I’m not sure of the frequency right now. It could be once a month or once a week. I think episodes would probably run about 20 minutes in length. Would you be interested in hearing interviews with such folks? I already have one episode recorded and a few more lined up.
I would appreciate your input with the poll below. If, for some reason, it doesn’t show up because of your browser settings, you can go to the poll here.
As an old newspaper reporter, I can tell you firsthand how it interferes with the writing process when the editor stands over your shoulder. Yet, most of us do this to ourselves every time we try to write.
Writing and editing are two different functions. You will do a better job with less stress if you will separate them. When you write, write. Don’t worry about punctuation, editing, spelling, etc. You can clean that up later.
If you think you don’t have time to do that, let me tell you: you don’t have time to not do it. It actually takes less time to separate writing and editing.
Since we are concerned with helping you speak more effectively and avoid writing it out word for word in the first place (because you’ll then sound like you’re reading, even when you’re not), it’s even more important to find another way to prepare for your speech—and this is it. Continue reading “Respecting your inner writer and editor”
I could have sworn I have written about this before, but I can’t find it at the moment. Maybe I didn’t. That’s what all speakers worry about, I think: am I going to forget what I want to say? I had better leave myself a note.
When I teach beginning speakers about speaking notes, I teach principles, but I don’t insist on a particular way of doing them. Different people need to do notes differently. The answer to the question, “What kind of notes should I use as a speaker?” is “Whatever works for you.”