Gathering the crumbs

No waste cookies!

I made chocolate cookies a few days ago. When I say “I made,” I mean I opened the package of refrigerated dough and followed the directions. I have made chocolate chip cookies from scratch before, and done a pretty good job if I do say so myself. But why bother? The refrigerated dough turns out almost as good, and take a whole lot less time. And less dish washing, too.

Along with the fun of eating them (since I’m the major cookie consumer in our household), I gained something of an insight for speaking and writing. (Does that make the cookies tax deductible?) Since they were “home made,” I put them into a Ziploc bag after they cooled, and when I ate the last one few hours later, I noticed a lot of crumbs in the bottom.

In fact, there were enough there to make up two entire cookies after I dumped them out into my hand. One does not simply waste cookies.

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Who are you talking to?

Ten and Rose

Do you ever have conversations with someone else in your head? Someone real, or maybe even someone fictitious? Surely I’m not the only one who does this.

In the middle of the night, not quite awake but not quite asleep, I’ll “write.” I’ll imagine writing out entire stories, blog posts, book chapters. I’ll envision standing on a stage and speaking to an audience. It’s brilliant stuff, too, if I only had a way to capture it. Continue reading “Who are you talking to?”

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Choosing stories wisely solves many speaking problems

storytelling_sm

Today I witnessed a student struggle initially with an impromptu speech. He started out so general that he covered his topic in only 15 seconds, leave a full 45 seconds to meet his minimum. For impromptu speeches, I’ll nudge them a little if they get stuck, and he responded, but only plowed ahead a little bit before grinding once again to a halt.

He was almost at his minimum time at that point, so I almost “helped” him out by starting to applaud, relieving him of his discomfort. Before I could, though, an expression of recognition crossed his face. Cliché it might be, but it was like the sudden illumination of a light bulb. He had instantly recalled, then over the next minute recounted, an actual story of something that happened to him when he was young. Continue reading “Choosing stories wisely solves many speaking problems”

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Two more tips for using humor in speeches

She still has that look this week!
She still has that look this week!

Last week, I posted a couple of tips from a recent speaking experience about practical humor for speakers. Let’s continue with that this week. Continue reading “Two more tips for using humor in speeches”

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Two tips for using humor in speeches

comedy_edited

I mentioned earlier that I had a great time last weekend at the District 63 Toastmasters Conference. Part of the reason, honestly, is that the education session I conducted went well, by which I mean people seemed to enjoy learning something practical about parliamentary procedure.

I don’t think anyone expects to have fun with Robert’s Rules of Order, but indications are that people did. While I didn’t want to just have fun, I did want to have fun learning something useful together, because I think (and research supports) that you understand more and retain more if you have fun learning. Continue reading “Two tips for using humor in speeches”

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Include bacon in every speech

MMMmmmmMMMMM

Have you noticed you can add bacon to just about anything and make it better? I scoffed at the idea of adding bacon to ice cream, but my wife has proven me wrong. Wouldn’t it be great if there were something like that for speeches? Something you could include that would make any speech better?

You can. Continue reading “Include bacon in every speech”

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