Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Twenty chapters! Now that's a milestone. Also crossed 15,000 words.
  • Stand Outside Yourself -- Actors have a variety of ways to get into character. As part of a process known as "outside-in," taking on the physical aspects of the character -- the wardrobe, makeup, hair, posture, gestures, etc. -- is the way to get there. One of my acting instructors was adamant about the role of shoes in this process. Literally putting yourself in their shoes. Lots of non-communicators (particularly technical types) but even some professional communicators (stricken with verbal Stockholm Syndrome) have trouble freeing themselves from industry jargon, acronyms and buzzwords. Our job is to find the meaning behind the BS. Or as Denzel Washington put it in Philadelphia: "Explain it to me like I'm a four-year-old."
It's funny that this is another new chapter idea I just thought of the other day. I keep doing that. Keep coming up with new ones while among the unwritten chapters are two or three that were always on the original list a couple of months ago. Maybe I don't think those will be good chapters. Or maybe I don't feel I have enough to say or enough new things to say about them. Or maybe it's a case of too much to say.

We'll see what happens when I look at them all together. Some, like the above, are a little slight -- barely 500 words. Barely more than that summary paragraph! It makes me think some of these may be better suited for verbal presentations/speeches as opposed to book chapters or bylined articles.

The demand for substance seems to be a little higher when it's in written form. In a speech, observations and anecdotes go a little further. Also, those can be supplemented by a group exercise -- like in this case, people could each list their three least-favorite buzzwords and the participants could then work together on finding ways to express the ideas in regular English.

Onward ...

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