The power of objects to evoke

kid-balloon

As I write this, I am in my disabled daughter’s bedroom looking at some of the balloons that float over her bed. She has no volitional control over her body–can’t sit up, can’t roll over, can’t communicate. She has never even been able to do something like blink once for yes and twice for no. We see evidence that she hears and understands what goes on around her, though–for instance, now that she is 13, if I come in and say something like, “How’s Daddy’s baby today?” she will roll her eyes like any 13-year-old would. Since she has no volitional control, it suggests to me that eye-rolling is simply a teen-aged reflex.

She follows things with her eyes, and that’s one reason for the balloons. They can float in her field of vision and provide some entertainment and diversion for what must be a very isolated experience, even though they are starting to lose their helium and dangle just above her headboard now.

As I watch those balloons, I am suddenly transported to a Nash automobile in 1959.

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List your way to creativity

Every day

James Altucher has really had an impact in the last few years with his books, his blogs, his videos, etc. His core ideas are contained in Choose Yourself. I want to encourage you particularly to apply one of them he advocates for exercising your “idea muscle” that I have started calling the Ten List.

The Ten List is part of his four-part system he calls The Daily Practice–or, actually, a technique that addresses the Mental part of the four. So it’s not particularly about speaking or writing, but I have found it to be really useful for both.

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Everyone has challenges–overcome yours

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I have mixed feelings about what some people call “disability porn.” Whether photos or videos, they feature someone with some sort of disability accomplishing something that would be a challenge for anyone, or maybe would just be an everyday thing for most people, held up as inspiration for the rest of “us.” Stella Young clearly articulated the dark aspect of disability porn in her TED talk.

On the other hand, such things really are a reminder that people–everyone–can overcome challenges. What may be missed in all this is that we all have challenges. Nobody has it easy, although when you look at someone else from the outside, it may look as if everyone else has it easier.

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Have you ever really met him/her?

Faceless ladies

Among several famous Will Rogers sayings is this one: “I never met a man I didn’t like.” It is a joke almost as old as the original publication of that line in 1927: “Yeah, but he never met So-and-so” (fill in the name of whoever you are claiming even Will Rogers wouldn’t like).

The opposite old saying is this: “Familiarity breeds contempt.”

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What’s your base?

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Is there something in you that you keep coming back to? What does that tell you about yourself?

I haven’t written anything here for awhile. In fact, I haven’t written much of anything at all for awhile. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been creating–I have been experimenting quite a bit with Facebook Live and other video. I’ve been getting my creative muscles flexed–but I still come back to writing and speaking over and over again. It’s just who I am.

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Use a free, easy tool to improve your speaking

Coffee with Donn logo

I have started a Facebook video series to share speaking tips (and some writing tips, but focused on “out loud”). I’m going to try to do this twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) to see how it goes. After we get going, I’ll broadcast live so people can interact during the broadcast, but the recording will remain available.

You don’t have to have a Facebook account to see it. But if you have one, “like” the page while you are there to make it easy to see more content as it comes out.

You can see the first Coffee with Donn video here.

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Do you care how you get info from me?

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I haven’t written anything here in forever. We’ve talked before about those times when the well runs dry, and you just have nothing to say. That’s not what’s been happening with me the last few months. The fact is, I have been overwhelmed with work. I have thought of dozens of things to talk with you about, and thought, “I’ll develop that later,” and then never got time.

On the other hand, I have recorded several Facebook Live videos for other projects I’m working with. These days, I’m finding it easier to do those than to write something. For people who relate to video, it seems that it is a more engaging medium. On the other hand, it is not as casual as reading (you can read a blog post almost anywhere).

So, to help me know where to focus my efforts, would you give me some feedback? Just respond to the quick survey below to help me help you. I don’t want to spend time and effort on something that won’t be useful to you–and I really want to produce something useful to you.

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Why people only post kitten pictures and videos

Cute kitten!

If you express any kind of serious opinion about anything on Facebook, you bring out the trolls and the disagreements.

This is ironic, since Facebook tends to only show you posts that you have shown an interest in. Maybe Facebook with its unlimited post lengths draws people who are more into argument. In other words, maybe some people see the posts they see because Facebook has figured out they like to argue.

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Your listeners want to remain alive and engaged

I’ve heard for years from people seeking advice on making their slideware more effective. Slides are not the most important aspect of a talk, but handled incorrectly (and probably 90% of them are), they can suck all the impact right out of a speech or a classroom lecture. With just a few guidelines, though, you don’t have to be a PowerPoint superstar to harness its power to give “out loud” more punch.

We have released a free video called PowerPoint CPR that gives you nine simple steps to follow to put you way above the “normal” in creating slide decks. And who wants to be normal in that regard?

Get your video here.

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