How To Avoid Annoying Your Audience

When you speak, does your audience fall asleep? Avoid eye contact? Pick up their pens and start doodling? Gaze off out the window. Tap their feet in anticipation of your finishing up your speech? If so, you might be an audience annoyer!

An audience annoyer is one of those people who gets up in front of an audience and talks and talks and talks. Usually they speak about a subject that is of no interest to the audience. They often try to engage the audience with a question, only to find the audience is not paying attention.

Or, sometimes an annoyer is someone who works really hard at trying to speak so eloquently that they completely lose the message that they are trying to convey—if in fact they have a message at all.

Often, audience annoyers are users. They just want to use the audience like a dog uses a human leg. They just want you to lie there while they go about their business. “Oh, don’t mind him. It’s best if we just let him go on until he finishes.”

Or they use the audience as a forum, a place where they can prove their lingual brilliance, a place to show off their large and varied vocabulary.

No matter the description, audience annoyers are annoying to an audience. They do not accomplish their goal, no matter what their aim. They forget the maxim: IT'S ABOUT THE MESSAGE FOR THE AUDIENCE! IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!

For those people who in fact do not just want to use the audience as a sounding board--or as a leg to hump—then this article is for you. It’s for you, because you probably have a general wish to communicate, to share your wisdom and knowledge with the audiences you address. So, how then do you avoid annoying your audience?


Stop using us!

Stop trying to impress us.

If you are using a word that has more than two syllables, cut it out.

If you are speaking a sentence or a question that has more than 10 words, cut it out.

If you are speaking in any tense other than the simple future, simple past, or simple present, stop!

Keep things simple.

Learn the simple.

Cut your main message down to 5 words. (No more than 8).

Now, just for an experiment, take a moment. Count a few of the sentences in this essay. How many words per sentence are there? You will probably find most have less than 10. So should yours. Go, and do like wise!

The days of long arduous prose-like verbiage are over. Abe Lincoln & Dan Webster are dead. They are not coming back anytime soon. So get with the times! Speak simply and clearly. Use simple baby words like most of the ones in this essay.

Have a clear point. If it's not clear to you and at least three other people, then for the audiences sake do not step on that stage. Because without a clear, simply stated message, you’ll be recommitting the ugly sin of humping our leg and expecting us to sit there and wait until you are finished. We hate having our leg humped!

Intercourse should be mutual. It should be collaboration between two people--in this case speaker and audience. It should never be one-way masturbation.

If you need help clarifying, simplifying your message, then do yourself a favor and ask someone for help. If that person doesn’t help, then ask another person.

Buy books on how to write a speech central idea, or theme.

Again, get simple.

Go back to baby school and learn the basics. There is nothing humiliating about humbling yourself to learn the baby basics that you might not have learned the first time around. There is no shame in that at all.

The only shame is the shame of watching as your audiences eyes glaze over the moment you take the stage.

The only shame is seeing them pull out their pillows and blankets right when you start to speak.

The only shame is seeing half the people room start staring at their toes, a quarter of the room staring at the roof, five people doodling in a notebook, and the final three getting up to go to the bathroom as soon as you expose your first point.

So, bottom line: Avoid shame. Do my tips. Or....go here.


How to Tell a Story

by Mark Twain (1835-1910)
The Humorous Story an American Development.--Its Difference from Comic and Witty Stories.

I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told, for I have been almost daily in the company of the most expert story-tellers for many years.

There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind--the humorous. I will talk mainly about that one. The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter.

The humorous story may be spun out to great length, and may wander around as much as it pleases, and arrive nowhere in particular; but the comic and witty stories must be brief and end with a point. The humorous story bubbles gently along, the others burst.

The humorous story is strictly a work of art--high and delicate art-- and only an artist can tell it; but no art is necessary in telling the comic and the witty story; anybody can do it. The art of telling a humorous story--understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print--was created in America, and has remained at home.

The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it; but the teller of the comic story tells you beforehand that it is one of the funniest things he has ever heard, then tells it with eager delight, and is the first person to laugh when he gets through. And sometimes, if he has had good success, he is so glad and happy that he will repeat the "nub" of it and glance around from face to face, collecting applause, and then repeat it again. It is a pathetic thing to see.

Very often, of course, the rambling and disjointed humorous story finishes with a nub, point, snapper, or whatever you like to call it. Then the listener must be alert, for in many cases the teller will divert attention from that nub by dropping it in a carefully casual and indifferent way, with the pretence that he does not know it is a nub.

Artemus Ward used that trick a good deal; then when the belated audience presently caught the joke he would look up with innocent surprise, as if wondering what they had found to laugh at. Dan Setchell used it before him, Nye and Riley and others use it to-day.

But the teller of the comic story does not slur the nub; he shouts it at you--every time. And when he prints it, in England, France, Germany, and Italy, he italicizes it, puts some whooping exclamation-points after it, and sometimes explains it in a parenthesis. All of which is very depressing, and makes one want to renounce joking and lead a better life.

Let me set down an instance of the comic method, using an anecdote which has been popular all over the world for twelve or fifteen hundred years. The teller tells it in this way:


In the course of a certain battle a soldier whose leg had been shot off appealed to another soldier who was hurrying by to carry him to the rear, informing him at the same time of the loss which he had sustained; whereupon the generous son of Mars, shouldering the unfortunate, proceeded to carry out his desire. The bullets and cannon-balls were flying in all directions, and presently one of the latter took the wounded man's head off--without, however, his deliverer being aware of it. In no-long time he was hailed by an officer, who said:

"Where are you going with that carcass?"

"To the rear, sir--he's lost his leg!"

"His leg, forsooth?" responded the astonished officer; "you mean his head, you booby."

Whereupon the soldier dispossessed himself of his burden, and stood looking down upon it in great perplexity. At length he said:

"It is true, sir, just as you have said." Then after a pause he added, "But he TOLD me IT WAS HIS LEG! ! ! ! !"

Here the narrator bursts into explosion after explosion of thunderous horse-laughter, repeating that nub from time to time through his gaspings and shriekings and suffocatings.

It takes only a minute and a half to tell that in its comic-story form; and isn't worth the telling, after all. Put into the humorous-story form it takes ten minutes, and is about the funniest thing I have ever listened to--as James Whitcomb Riley tells it.

He tells it in the character of a dull-witted old farmer who has just heard it for the first time, thinks it is unspeakably funny, and is trying to repeat it to a neighbor. But he can't remember it; so he gets all mixed up and wanders helplessly round and round, putting in tedious details that don't belong in the tale and only retard it; taking them out conscientiously and putting in others that are just as useless; making minor mistakes now and then and stopping to correct them and explain how he came to make them; remembering things which he forgot to put in in their proper place and going back to put them in there; stopping his narrative a good while in order to try to recall the name of the soldier that was hurt, and finally remembering that the soldier's name was not mentioned, and remarking placidly that the name is of no real importance, anyway--better, of course, if one knew it, but not essential, after all-- and so on, and so on, and so on.

The teller is innocent and happy and pleased with himself, and has to stop every little while to hold himself in and keep from laughing outright; and does hold in, but his body quakes in a jelly-like way with interior chuckles; and at the end of the ten minutes the audience have laughed until they are exhausted, and the tears are running down their faces.

The simplicity and innocence and sincerity and unconsciousness of the old farmer are perfectly simulated, and the result is a performance which is thoroughly charming and delicious. This is art and fine and beautiful, and only a master can compass it; but a machine could tell the other story.

To string incongruities and absurdities together in a wandering and sometimes purposeless way, and seem innocently unaware that they are absurdities, is the basis of the American art, if my position is correct. Another feature is the slurring of the point. A third is the dropping of a studied remark apparently without knowing it, as if one were thinking aloud. The fourth and last is the pause.

Artemus Ward dealt in numbers three and four a good deal. He would begin to tell with great animation something which he seemed to think was wonderful; then lose confidence, and after an apparently absent-minded pause add an incongruous remark in a soliloquizing way; and that was the remark intended to explode the mine--and it did.

For instance, he would say eagerly, excitedly, "I once knew a man in New Zealand who hadn't a tooth in his head"--here his animation would die out; a silent, reflective pause would follow, then he would say dreamily, and as if to himself, "and yet that man could beat a drum better than any man I ever saw."

The pause is an exceedingly important feature in any kind of story, and a frequently recurring feature, too. It is a dainty thing, and delicate, and also uncertain and treacherous; for it must be exactly the right length--no more and no less--or it fails of its purpose and makes trouble. If the pause is too short the impressive point is passed, and [and if too long] the audience have had time to divine that a surprise is intended--and then you can't surprise them, of course.

On the platform I used to tell a negro ghost story that had a pause in front of the snapper on the end, and that pause was the most important thing in the whole story. If I got it the right length precisely, I could spring the finishing ejaculation with effect enough to make some impressible girl deliver a startled little yelp and jump out of her seat --and that was what I was after. This story was called "The Golden Arm," and was told in this fashion. You can practise with it yourself--and mind you look out for the pause and get it right.


Once 'pon a time dey wuz a monsus mean man, en he live 'way out in de prairie all 'lone by hisself, 'cep'n he had a wife. En bimeby she died, en he tuck en toted her way out dah in de prairie en buried her. Well, she had a golden arm--all solid gold, fum de shoulder down. He wuz pow'ful mean--pow'ful; en dat night he couldn't sleep, Gaze he want dat golden arm so bad.

When it come midnight he couldn't stan' it no mo'; so he git up, he did, en tuck his lantern en shoved out thoo de storm en dug her up en got de golden arm; en he bent his head down 'gin de win', en plowed en plowed en plowed thoo de snow. Den all on a sudden he stop (make a considerable pause here, and look startled, and take a listening attitude) en say: "My LAN', what's dat!"

En he listen--en listen--en de win' say (set your teeth together and imitate the wailing and wheezing singsong of the wind), "Bzzz-z-zzz"--- en den, way back yonder whah de grave is, he hear a voice! he hear a voice all mix' up in de win' can't hardly tell 'em 'part--" Bzzz-zzz-- W-h-o--g-o-t--m-y--g-o-l-d-e-n arm? --zzz--zzz-- W-h-o g-o-t m-y g-o-l- d-e-n arm!" (You must begin to shiver violently now.)

En he begin to shiver en shake, en say, "Oh, my! OH, my lan'! "en de win' blow de lantern out, en de snow en sleet blow in his face en mos' choke him, en he start a-plowin' knee-deep towards home mos' dead, he so sk'yerd--en pooty soon he hear de voice agin, en (pause) it 'us comin' after him! "Bzzz--zzz--zzz--W-h-o--g-o-t m-y--g-o-l-d-e-n--arm?"

When he git to de pasture he hear it agin closter now, en a-comin'!-- a-comin' back dah in de dark en de storm--(repeat the wind and the voice). When he git to de house he rush up-stairs en jump in de bed en kiver up, head and years, en lay dah shiverin' en shakin'--en den way out dah he hear it agin!--en a-comin'! En bimeby he hear (pause--awed, listening attitude)--pat--pat--pat--hit's acomin' up-stairs! Den he hear de latch, en he know it's in de room!

Den pooty soon he know it's a-stannin' by de bed! (Pause.) Den--he know it's a-bendin' down over him--en he cain't skasely git his breath! Den-- den--he seem to feel someth' n c-o-l-d, right down 'most agin his head! (Pause.)

Den de voice say, right at his year--"W-h-o g-o-t--m-y--g-o-l-d-e-n arm?" (You must wail it out very plaintively and accusingly; then you stare steadily and impressively into the face of the farthest-gone auditor--a girl, preferably--and let that awe-inspiring pause begin to build itself in the deep hush. When it has reached exactly the right length, jump suddenly at that girl and yell, "You've got it!")

If you've got the pause right, she'll fetch a dear little yelp and spring right out of her shoes. But you must get the pause right; and you will find it the most troublesome and aggravating and uncertain thing you ever undertook.

From Here


How To Increase Your Awesomeness Factor!

Are you sick of being a lame dude or dudette? Are you tired of being a boring shmoe with no impact on the world at all? Are you a complainer at work? A complainer at home? An all out complainer in life?

If you answer yes to any one of these questions, your awesomeness factor is hovering somewhere around zero on the Awesomeness 0 to 20 scale, which means…..change something now, or forever live in anonymity!!!!!

How? How can you change? How can you increase your awesomeness?

I’ve got about five hundred ways you can work to increase your awesomeness, but for today I’ll share just one!

You can start to increase your awesomeness by getting up out of your chair, going over to your co-worker and turning your depressed frown into what sort-of resembles a smile and saying as passionately and honestly as you can muster…. “I think you are doing a great job! I really like how you handled this (be specific) particular situation (or problem, or something). I just wanted you to know that.” Then repeat. Begin to say cool things to other people, no matter how you feel about yourself or how you feel about what others might think.

A person with a high awesomeness factor encourages others. He or she works their butt off saying good, encouraging, passion-filled words to others. They may get met with some angry reactions, some harsh words, but so what. A person with high awesomeness isn’t doing it for a reaction. A person with high awesomeness is giving people what they deeply truly want: appreciation. And as a result, over time, the gift will begin to reciprocate.

Push yourself to begin encouraging others. To encourage others is to encourage yourself. Try it for a week. Encourage three people a day, and just see what happens. See how you begin to feel. You’re awesomeness will absolutely begin to increase.


Some Really Great Reasons To Write That First Draft

Blogs are great. For some people they are a place to write serious literature. For others, they’re a place to write babbling unfocused turd-like thoughts. For a few, they’re a place to report on findings and cool information. For folks like me, they’re a great place to get started. For we all know that getting started is 8/9ths the battle.

Write the damned first draft, I say. Get it going. Just do it. Stop procrastinating. Write everything as though it’s a first draft.

That last sentence makes good sense. In college, how many of us wrote those final papers in no way like what was suggested? How many of you wrote that final 12 page tome the night before it was due? How many papers did you hand in that were lucky if they at least had been spell checked? How many of you never even bothered to read what you had written before handing it in? Admit it! There had to have been at least a few papers where you didn’t do the best you could have done? There had to have been at least one or two essays where you didn’t take the time to write, rewrite, get someone to check it for you—you know, write your paper “the right way”?

If you didn’t turn in a less than perfectly prepared paper at least once in your college career, I highly recommend going back to school. Clearly you didn’t do college like you were supposed to.

…of course, this is coming from a guy whose blogging for free rather than being paid to write. You might think twice about the credibility of this writer.

Wow…this introduction is taking a really long time. What’s my point? My point is that you really should just start writing. Write the first draft! And do it now. Write it and publish it. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on some really good benefits.

One, not writing your first draft will result in not writing a damn thing at all. Not writing your first draft, shitty or great, will result in your sitting in front of the television feeling like crap about yourself. Not writing your first draft leads you to poor self-esteem. It leads you to crappy self-justifying bullcrap that is supposed to cover over the fact that you just didn’t do the only thing that will get you started….writing the first draft.

Not writing that first draft enables you to never have anything to rewrite and make better. Not writing it ensures that you’ll be without product. There’ll be nothing to make awesome and better. There’ll be nothing for you to develop and play with. Don’t you realize that revision is where the beauty comes? Revision is the shit! It’s awesome. Remember that when you’re writing your shitty first draft. Because no matter what you write, you’re going to eventually turn it into something else, something great, something fantastic. And doing that is the best damned part of writing. So, if you’re not writing your first draft, you’re missing out on the process of fixing what can never be perfect the first time. You’re just being a fool.

Enough said. Write the damn first draft! Stop stalling, and get it down. Tomorrow is another day. Decide, take action, write, and give someone something on paper. Remember it’s not about you whatever you say, it’s about the people you’re helping with your words. So tell the damn story, write the damn essay, finish the damn blog. Just do it! Just write the damn first draft!

For a key to successful communication is the willingness to start somewhere.


How To Talk To Strangers

Bored of the same old conversations with the same old people? Or are you a loner who is tired of being alone? Perhaps you’re just shy, and sick of it? Maybe it’s time to think of trying a new way of approaching life and the people that inhabit it.

Each day most of us pass approximately 100 people, depending on the size of the situation we’re living in. Of those 100 people, we know perhaps 3. That means 97 people are complete, virtually complete, strangers. That’s a lot of people that we do not know.

Ever think about their story? Ever wonder who they are, what they do, whether or not they’ve got the magic answer to the mysteries in your life? If so, you should talk with them.

What???? Talk to strangers? Are you nutz?

Well, that’s debateable.

But, the reality is 97% of the people you meet each day is a really large amount of people. I think it is in our best interests to meet at least some of the people we see. Why not?

So today I challenge you to reap the benefits you can get from talking with strangers. Of course, talking with strangers has some risks. There are the emotional risks of rejection, receiving haughty looks from people we don’t know, from being called or thought weird. These are big risks, but I don’t think they outweigh the benefits we get when we begin to talk with and meet new people.
  1. When you meet new people, you grow in interpersonal confidence.
  2. When you meet new people, you can have a chance to alter the course of your life.
  3. When you meet new people, you can relieve the boredom that fills the majority of our days.
  4. When you meet new people, you might just find an answer to your life.
  5. When you meet new people, you might just have one more person who’ll be at your funeral. (A lot of people at your funeral is a definition of success, is it not?)
  6. When you meet new people, you might have more people at your wedding, which means more presents. …this is good.
The benefits do outweigh the risks. So how do we talk to strangers?

Accept that you might be rejected. Let go of your ego. Realize that rejection is not death. It’s scary and it hurts, but in a city the size of Seoul, for example, being rejected by one person is akin to putting your finger in a bucket of water then pulling it out. There is no change, there is no difference. Rejection is not the end of the world. It’s part and parcel of living an interesting life. The cost of living life in a cool and alive way, rather than in a contentedly bored and safe way.

Just jump in.
Don’t hesitate. “Hi, I’m Michael.” This is a great way to start. If you don’t hesitate, you’ll find people will react in kind. Of course, there are certain places that are better for doing this than others. Coffee shops are good, bars are good. But a straight forward name give is only good in a few places. For places like museums or gyms, you might start by asking them their opinion about the art, or about how to do a certain exercise. Once started, just continue on. What the heck. It can be fun.

Yes, some people will be snotty and ignore you. So what! Do it anyway. Remember, it’s good for you. It’s making you stronger. And it’s better than sitting like a bump on a log wishing life were different. It’s proactive and therefore good.

Yes, talking to strangers can be deadly. We’ve all heard stories of people who’ve met strangers and been damaged. Well, this is a risk. But, reality is, most of the people in this world are not crazed psychos. What’s the real probability that you’ll be the lucky one to meet the psycho?

So of course, you’ll want to be smart. You may not want to give your phone number. You may not want to give your email. Be smart. If you meet someone and they give you the freaky willy icky feeling, stop talking. There’s not rule that once you start a conversation, you have to a) keep it going, or b) make the other feel good. Talking to strangers is for you, and it’s your game. You owe no one anything! So, if they ask you for your phone number, say, “No thank you.”

Make a habit of practicing on a stranger a day. What the hell? Why not. Every day for 21 days. One person per day. Go ahead, try it. It’s scary, but you can do it. It’s good exercise for your soul. And, 21 days is the standard time it takes to make a new habit and to get over the habitual pattern that we are trying to alter. Shyness is the thing we want to change, 21 days will set the ball rolling toward permanent change.

So, if you’re tired of life as it is, and you’re looking for something cool to do to spice up your days on earth, give talking to strangers a try. Use your intuition, and make reasonable choices about the people you try and talk to. Don’t try and strike up conversations with random people while standing at a crosswalk. Coffee shops, bars, museums, trains, buses….these are good places. Give it a try! You might just change your entire life!


How To Be A Person That Can Effect Behavioral Change In Others

There is a common saying that there are only so many things a person can control. People, places and things are three that you and I really cannot control. We can try, we can work hard to achieve control over these things, but in the long run any change we manage to create is almost always only temporary.

When it comes to people, trying to manipulate and control them is often cause for both their resentment toward us and for our resentment toward them.

“Dammit!" we demand, "Just do what I want!”

The bottom line: trying to control people is really hard. In fact, it's a down-right pain in the ass.

But there are some ways that we can produce behavioral change in others. Here are five you can use to work toward the results you wish to achieve.
1) Care. It’s simple, really. Just work toward caring for other people, especially the people you want to change. If you do not really care, the persuasion of love is nil. Love is a persuader. But it has to be genuine. If you don’t care, then the intent of your influence is but manipulative. Care equals desiring the best for the other. People usually respond to another persons care.

2) Let Go. Let go of the result of your attempts to influence. Trying to managed and control the outcome of your attempt is really just that…control. Control is an intent. And to be effective at influencing people, you have to let go of the result of your efforts. Care, but demand not that the person do exactly as you wish! Let go and let God, so to speak. Allow life to live it’s own way. Live your life and let others live theirs. If they want what you are offering, they’ll reach out and grab it. Trust the process, and let go.

3) Avoid the argument. Avoid trying to prove yourself right. In so doing, you’re essentially saying the other person is wrong. Is this not wrong? Every person on the planet has a vested interest in trying to be right. According to the laws of psychology, our ego demands it. Everything we do, we are in an attempt to protect ourselves. To protect our mind, our ego creates a “right” shell. To break past that right shell with argument or force is nearly impossible. Even if you win the argument, the person will defend their “wrongness” as a form of right. …just trust me, arguments like I’m trying to win right now do not work. Avoid them!

4) Model the behaviour. Be the change you want to see in others. But, be prepared to be patient. Being the change means being okay if others think you are a freak. And take no time to tell you that they think such. Work hard at attracting people through your actions rather than through your promotional tactics. Be the real deal, the real MaCoy. Be genuine. Nothing sells like authenticity and sincerity.

5) Listen. The best way to accomplish all of the above and to affect change in others is to Listen. Listen listen listen listen listen. …then listen some more. Stop being in such a hurry to say something. Stop the train of thoughts buzzing, the argument forming, the dreams drifting while others are talking. Focus on the moment, your breath, here and now. Keep the mind blank except for the thing that the other is saying. Form arguments after you have processed the words of the other, if need be. Allow others to be heard. Give them your eyes, your non-verbals, your full and undivided attention. Learn the art of active listening. It’ll make a huge difference in your relationships, and in your ability to influence.

If anything, it’ll be a silencer of you. And the bottom line of influence is keep your mouth shut. Talkers tend to manipulate. Listeners allow for change to occur. Be an ocean. An ocean never speaks. It only listens. Yet, it’s power and ability to effect change is unparalleled.
So, stop trying to control, instead learn to be influential. To be an influential communicator, practice the above steps.

All for today.


How To Give A Review That Excites Your Audience!

I belong to Toastmasters.

I love Toastmasters, and I love everyone who is a part of that fantastic club. …okay, not everyone. But I at least respect everyone. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to get up in front of complete strangers and speak. So, to everyone who joins and participates in TM, you rock!

Every now and then, however, there are people who really struggle with their speeches. They struggle to understand how to make their speeches entertaining. It took me a long time to learn how to put together a speech, and I’m certainly no where near where I want to be. I believe, though, that I know a little bit.

Because of that brazen assumption, I’d like to tell you today how to prepare a mini-speech—sometimes called a Review—that is designed to introduce something to the audience that you, as a speaker, find interesting. That thing can be a movie, a philosophy, a book, a restaurant, a park, or just about anything you feel excited enough to talk about.

Of course, as a speaker who’s excited about your subject, you want to inspire and excite your audience enough to experience the thing you’re discussing. If they go, then you two will have something in common that the both of you can discuss later on.

Knowing this, it’s important that when preparing your review, you consider these 3 points:

First, always always always chose one, and I mean ONLY ONE, unique selling point. Remember that a Review in Toastmasters is only to be two minutes in length. One unique selling point is all you have time to talk about.

What is it that you like about the thing you are sharing with us? What are you certain to be the big benefit that the audience is likely to get from the thing you are sharing. For example, you might be sharing with us a book that you enjoyed. What about the book do you think the audience will appreciate? Think hard. Then, after you’ve given it a good think, decide what the one unique selling point is, and move on to point number 2…

Second, state that unique selling point as a short, concise question that you’ll spend the next two minutes answering. For example, you might ask the audience: “Tired of reading boring books about stupid dumb people?” So what is the USP of this question? The selling point is that the book you are reviewing will probably be a book that is not a boring book about stupid dumb people. Instead, it will probably be about something else. That something else is the thing I’ll describe in point 3…

Finally, answer the question by explaining the unique selling point. The question that you posed in the introduction is actually a problem that needs to be solved in your brief review. This should be easy to do in a simple way within the two minute time frame.

The best way for me to explain this is to write a mock version of a review:

“Fellow Toastmasters and Welcome guests…Tired of reading boring books about stupid dumb people? Well have I got a solution for you! This book is anything but boring. It’s packed with awesome characters who talk funny and creative, who are smart, and are positively cool. It’s the story of Bob who is a really silly man who just so happens to love a unique lady named Veronica. Unfortunately, the woman is in love with only her dog, so she find’s Bob quite ugly.

The ending is unlike anything you could ever possibly expect. It’s exciting and bizarre, and I really recommend it. If you’d like to know more, please ask me during 2nd Round. (If you are unfamiliar with 2nd Round, that’s where all the Toastmasters people go out after a meeting and socialize).

Briefly, you should know that you can buy this book at any bookstore. It costs about 9000 Korean won.

So, do yourselves a favour….if you’re tired of reading dull books about dumb people, try this book. It’ll excite you and entertain you. Mr. Toastmaster…”

So there you have it. Follow my tips, and you’ll be able to create a moderately super fantastic Review.

If you have any additional advice, do yourself a favour and make your own damned blog!

Just kidding! Feel free to leave a comment or eight. Much appreciated.

For more information on how to write good speeches, go here: SPEECH TIPS.


Dammit! I did it again. Once more sucked into a conversation with Pablo my annoying co-worker. That guy just drones on and on and on and on. I just want to be left alone, but I’m too damned nice. He says something to me, and I guess I’m too nice to ignore it. Suddenly, I’m hooked. A half hour passes, my ears melting from the idiot rays spewing from his tragically dumb mouth. I hate it! What can I do?

How do I stop allowing myself to be sucked into stupid conversations with people that drive me bonkers?

Good Question!

Here are 3 powerful ways out of that habit:

1) STOP!

Just stop! Stop engaging. Stop trying to be thought nice. Stop worrying what others think. You deserve your freedom! You deserve peace. You deserve to live with unmelted ears. You deserve to live far away from the idiot rays of dumb mouths everywhere. So just stop engaging them in conversation.

It’s not that easy, you say?


It is that easy. Quit with the need to be everyone’s friend, to be liked by everyone. Quit trying to be Pablo’s chum and pal. Who cares what he wants. He clearly cares little for what you want. Ignore the idiot. Life is too short.
If some annoying dude or dudette says something to you, simple don’t engage.

Be a jerk. It’s okay!

2) Whack Yourself In The Face With The Backside Of A Hairbrush.

Go ahead, give yourself a few good whacks. Why? Because…
Because you clearly enjoy pain. If you keep allowing yourself to engage with pabo’s (Korean for fools) like Pablo, you must really enjoy basking in pain. Otherwise, why would you allow yourself to continue the process? So, since you like pain and yet want to stop this behaviour, then you need to find a substitute action. Whacking yourself in the face with the backside of a hairbrush is a good game to play.

Try it. Go ahead. Give yourself four or five good whackings!
Especially do this everytime Pablo shows his face near you. Probably he will think that since you’re busy whacking yourself, you’ll be too busy to talk. He’ll probably just decide to come back later when you are not so busy. When he does, go ahead and repeat this tip until he stops coming.


3) Use your assertive skills, and tell them kindly, with a smile, yet firmly, “No Thank You.”

Tell them, “Can’t Talk: Busy.” If they keep talking despite your firm statement, repeat your
statement again and again. Try keeping your voice friendly and calm. Act like a robot, and repeat. Keep going, adding in every now and then, “bye bye”. I promise, they’ll get the hint after a while.

Now, if you don’t like these tips, or you think you have better ones, please feel free to add to the pile.

If you think these tips won’t work, well then you can go here: surprise.


How To Say "No" Without Hurting Someone's Feelings And Also Our Own

I can understand the difficulty of it. My friend Andrew asked me the other day if would help him move apartments. I hate moving. I hate moving more than I hate writing a resume. And let me tell you, I hate writing a resume. Arrrggh! (More on that in some other post).

The point is my friend asked me for my help. What made this situation worse is that my friend expected my help because a few weeks earlier, he had helped me write an essay for school. I needed information for an essay, and he provided me with an excellent technique for synthesizing the information I had gathered. I was really grateful. That gratitude he was hopeful would motivate me to help him move the contents of his apartment.


Moving apartments, as I said, is something I hate. Composing an essay is something the both of us like. It was not a big burden for him to help me. So, the help he needed is not the same as the help I needed. Right?

Well, whether you agree with me or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that there are times when we need to say “no” to people. And there are times when saying “no” produces a feeling of guilt. So, how do we say “no” without hurting someone elses feelings, as well as, our own?

I have three tips.

1) Give up the fight. Chances are you can’t say “no” without hurting someone’s feelings. Especially as in the case I described above. And so what? Their feelings, their expectations are their issue. Yes they may be your friend, and yes you may want them to have good feelings, but a friend can’t be everything to everyone. And your feelings are not my responsibility. Your expectations are not mine to meet. If I want to meet your expectations, then I will. If I do not, I will not. And, I need not feel bad about that or submit myself to my own pain just to make you happy. How is that being loving?

So how can I say “no” without hurting your feelings? I can’t. So what? Hurt feelings are a part of life. Disappointment is a part of life. Get over it, and solve the problem. Find someone else. I’m sure there are some people out there who like helping people move. Not me!

2) When you say “no”, say it with a gentle smile and soft eyes. Don’t try to make the person understand you, let you off the hook. Just say no. If they understand you, accept your decision, agree with your position or not is NOT your problem. You have a right to say NO. If they like it or not, so what? Say “no” as politely as possible, but say it anyhow. Why? Because that is what you want. And as an act of self-love, what you want is often enough.

3) Don’t let that guilt you feel walk you into doing what you don’t want. Usually when I say “no” I feel guilty. I feel guilty and bad. Why? Who knows? Probably sometime when I was young, I learned to be ashamed of my own right to live as I want. I probably learned to feel bad whenever I said “no”. Well so what? That was then, this is now. I refuse to allow the feeling of guilt for saying “no” manipulate me into doing what I really do not want to do. Is this selfish? I don’t know, and I don’t care. My freedom is more important than listening to the guilt I was trained to obey. If I want to help someone, I will. And, I do. But, there are times when I do not want to. And that is okay! It’s more than okay. It’s down right RIGHT!

I’m sure there are more tips as to how to say “no” to people. I’d love to hear your advice. I know that if I had heard this advice a few years ago, it would have saved me a lot of frustration headaches and sour stomachs. Hope the information helps.

If it doesn't, then go here: http://www.webheights.net/lovethyself/smith/no.htm