The Call for CLARITY

    Everyone enjoys a good story, which is why we like intriguing mysteries, sentimental romances, gut-wrenching dramas, horrifying thrillers, and belly-busting comedies…in books, television programs, videos, and movies. Stories that we tell can be just as effective, and most often they are. However, every once in a while we see a film, read a […]

Holiday Memories

It’s early January, and Christmas trees have been dragged to curbs to be hauled off with the trash. Pine needles have been ingested by vacuum cleaners around the world. Curios, coffee tables and other furniture have reclaimed their rightful positions in living rooms and dens. Artificial trees have been disassembled and sent into 10-month hibernation […]

Use Another Tool!

  Several years ago, I discovered some termite damage to floor joists under my house. The damage was in the crawlspace, so it was quite dark, and it was not very easy to notice what the termites had done. I needed a tool…something to illuminate the area so I could see clearly. I chose a […]

When Something Goes WRONG…

  For more than 25 years, I’ve both told and heard some very inspirational stories. Some were born of deep pain, some from the joyous celebrations, and some from the humorous side of life. As is my custom, I ask my speech coaching clients to unearth the poignant personal stories from their own lives, because […]

Mundane, or MAGNIFICENT?

 Over the years, I’ve met thousands of interesting people; royalty, celebrities, politicians, pioneers, and more. Some have no specific claim to fame, and they represent diversity in age, ethnicity, religious belief, political affiliation, and background. Many have life stories that most people would consider fascinating and full of adventure. Many don’t. But there is one […]


Our stories are personal; our stories are powerful; sometimes our stories are PAINFUL. Some time ago, while discussing storytelling during a panel discussion, I made a comment about telling stories from THE DARK PLACE…a place of deep pain and raw emotions. My good friend the 1999 World Champ Craig Valentine says, “A message is really just […]


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Will They Remember?

      “You came to my school about 7 years ago and gave your Words Count speech. And I just wanted you to know that I’ve never forgotten it.” Those were the words that opened an e-mail that I received some time ago. To be honest, I didn’t think much about it until I […]

A Lesson from the Champions

  August 25, 2018 was a historic day for Toastmasters International! For the past 80 years, Toastmasters has held the annual International Speech Contest which culminates in the World Championship of Public of Speaking. For the first time in the organization’s 94-year history, three women emerged as the cream of the crop, finishing in the […]


    Stories have the power to move people in many ways. That emotional connection can be increased exponentially when you have clearly defined characters, who provide their own perspective of what’s happening in your story. They may not be the MAIN character, but they can play a significant role in unleashing the power of […]