Category Archives: Speaking Tips

Secret to Effective Storytelling

Steve Martin said, “Talking about Music is like Dancing about Architecture”

So what’s the secret to effective storytelling? Annette Kramer would say that it’s all about empathy, engagement and a narrative that has
personalization and meaning both for the storyteller and the audience. A well-crafted and well-told story with meaning will go a long way to dispense any semblance of lack of confidence, self-regarding ego or dry pomposity.  The passion and meaningful context of the story will shine through. It’s a bit like skiing. To be successful you have to marry technique with self-confidence and improvisation on the hoof. Read more at


Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Toastmasters Offers Tips to Commencement Speakers

It’s that time of year . . . time for graduation!  I remember mine.  It seems like yesterday but was many moons ago.  I remember the speeches that were given that day – motivational and inspirational.  Do you need to prepare to give such a speech?  I found this great article to help you out.

Toastmasters Offers Tips to Commencement Speakers — RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —.

One End at a Time

Do you remember as a kid talking to your friend across the yard through two tin cans and some string? Or maybe you were a bit more sophisticated and actually used a walk-talkie. Either way, as you recall, you could either talk or listen. You’d talk, then listen. If you tried to talk at the same time your friend was talking, neither of you heard each other. Either your ear wasn’t at the can or your button was pushed on the walkie talkie. Bottom line, no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t talk and listen at the same time.

Nothing much has changed since then. How often in our jobs, our relationships, or even phone conversations, do we still try to talk and listen at the same time? It still doesn’t work. But some still consider it a personal challenge to do both. In fact, it has become a type of control over others. For example, sit in a business meeting and listen to how everyone talks all over each other. Everyone’s talking – no one is listening. Then watch the Sunday morning political news shows. Politicians turn it up a notch. They seem to think that by not only talking over others, but being the loudest at it, their opinions are truth. Just because you can express your opinions loudly doesn’t make them right. Who really wins at these screaming matches, anyway? They had to install bells and lights at the debates to keep these politicians from getting into power matches. I can only image what it must be like in those meetings with no lights or bells to keep things under control.

How about you? Are you a talk-over? Are you listening as much as you are talking? Or when listening, do you interrupt the talker to express your opinion. Do you realize that when you do this it implies that you and your thoughts are more important than theirs? Test yourself. For the next three days, pay attention to how often you allow others to finish their sentences before replying. And notice how often you ask questions or
elicit responses from others. You might be surprised because we all do it.

Perhaps we can all just pretend we’re communicating through those tin cans with string where we can’t talk AND listen at the same time. Learning to “share” the receiver is a virtue we can all strive to obtain.