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?

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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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One-question survey

Survey

Hi! We haven’t talked in a few days. My daughter (The Princess) has been having some health issues, and coupled with nursing schedule irregularities, I’ve had to put my attention elsewhere.

But I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ve been working on updating the web site also, incorporating what you told me in response to an earlier question. To help that along, would you respond to a one-question survey about what you would most like to know about using effective speaking to advance your job, career, or business? It would really help me help you. Thanks! Just click this link–and I really appreciate it!

Image courtesy of NY Photographic under a CC Share-Alike license

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Bonus: insight into breakthrough thinking

head-rendering from brain MRI

As I read this article on Surprisingly Simple Ways You Can Trick Your Brain Into Focusing, it strikes me how much of this has to do with effective communication strategies! I guess it really is the basic operating system!

Read the whole thing, but I can tell you that the gist of it is this:

  1. Don’t multitask.
  2. Take notes. But don’t try to write down everything you hear. Distill it and summarize.
  3. Consider other points of view.
  4. Take breaks.
  5. Narrow your focus and go deeper.

But get the details from the article. In the meantime, consider getting a copy of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. (affiliate link)

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Is selection bias limiting your story?

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How do you know what you don’t know?

It can be one of the hardest tasks to get students to go beyond their own opinions, especially those in the traditional college age range. I speak from two-fold experience: 1) When I was that age, I pretty much knew everything. Over the years, I have realized that I still don’t know what I don’t know, but I can tell that there is a lot within that area of the mental map labeled “There be dragons here.” 2) I’ve worked with thousands of college students at this point in my life (rough estimate: about 7,000). Bonus experience: I have four kids over the age of 25. Most have gone from thinking Dad was just stupid to thinking that maybe he know something worthwhile.

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