Chairman’s Chat: December

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Storytelling Wednesday – don’t miss it!

With Cookies, Coffee, and Ed Tate!



Storytelling tips from a pro – a gift from the speaking Gods.

Storytelling in public speaking is a given.  Audiences don’t want a list of facts – they can get that from a book. How many times have you heard a Bureau audience member evaluate with: “I want to hear about YOU and your personal experiences, not what the books say. Tell me what it’s like in the real world.”  That is, tell me a story!

I used to think a story meant, ”the BIG story,” the signature story. No, that’s one aspect.

Yes, you have stories. No, you can’t get by without them.

It’s a meeting I highly recommend you attend, especially if you are looking to take your speaking to the next level.  “Can’t make it” or “I’ll try” are not really the best options (unless you email a note from your doctor) for individuals looking to kick their competition, and looking to get booked more often. This is definitely where the rubber meets the road. Where the dry facts intersect imagination. It brings your information to life, in a way that helps you reach as many of your audience members as possible!

Still wondering if you have stories? Yes, you do! They are all around you. But you are probably not actively looking for them or even realizing you are using them! Create those stories by getting involved with people, with life. Start conversations. Watch people and situations. Try it between now and Wednesday so that you know you can do it.

Think of how you use unconsciously use ‘stories’ in everyday life – relaying what happened in the parking lot, or at the store, or what your boss said to you at work, or how you arrived at a thought.  Stories help the other person connect & relate – because it ignites the imagination.

Come this Wednesday and learn how to maximize those stories, why it matters, and how you too can do it in a minimal investment of time.


 December marks the end of the calendar year and start of a new one. A good time to both reflect and look forward. I want to thank those who make the Bureau better with their extra help.  Michael Varma for his always-on-time articles. And Belinda Sanders for her timely articles as well. You’ve noticed a lot more PowerPoint presentations lately. That’s from the generosity of Kevin Graham with his projector. And of course we can always count on Jack Nichols, for being there, for doing the timing lights and his last-man-standing evaluations. There are countless others who jump in as MC, Edu or whatever, to keep us shining. Thank you!

But there’s one more person to mention. As you’ve seen, I like trying new things at the Bureau; it keeps us fresh. If it works, it stays – if not, I try again. Well this year, hang on! We’re going places. But don’t thank me, thank our latest whirlwind member, with a ton of great ideas, Rae-Ann Ruszkowski. I come up with one idea, she comes up with three. AND, she finds ways to make my one idea better! You’ve noticed the new design newsletter? Rae Ann. The new delivery of the newsletter? Rae Ann. Our soon-to-be-released beta website? RA. Getting the Bureau and members into 2012 with Social Media? Yeah, RA.

When you see these members at the Bureau, please take the time to thank them personally.

And for you. I suggest you also take this time to both reflect and look forward. How did you grow in your speaking this year?  What are your plans for next year? I say make it a race to keep up with the New Bureau!


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