Learn four key skills to get you started in writing.

How to make high school “The Best Years of Your Life”

This week, my son is being promoted from middle school. So, I’d like to share some advice for him and everyone else who is making the leap to high school.

Watch enough TV and movies, and you believe that high school is supposed to be “The Best Years of Your Life.” That’s a lot of pressure, especially since middle school is usually “The Crappiest Years of Your Life.” High school doesn’t involve high energy dance numbers about “being true to your dreams” that inspire you to score the winning touchdown, fall in love with the school nerd who became the head cheerleader thanks to her stereotypically fashionable and/or sassy friend, and achieve your goal of becoming prom king. But you can have a great high school experience, make life-long friends, and lay the foundation for a successful adulthood where the real “best years of your life” take place. Here’s how. Read more »

Should you become a leader?

This time of year, Toastmaster districts are looking to recruit area governors for the new term starting July 1. So, I’ve been receiving a lot of visits to my article “Why You Should Be an Area Governor.” I’ve learned a lot about leadership in the 14 years since then, including lessons from a 2-year term as a Little League president. I have some advice to add for anyone who seeks to become an area governor, a Little League president, or any kind of leader. Before you step up, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Read more »

What I’m doing next in writing

So, what am I doing next in writing? A number of things!

My New eBook: Table Topics for All Occasions

What you see to the left is the front cover of my new eBook. Table Topics for All Occasions includes 500 questions on a variety of subjects, and it takes you step-by-step from hearing the question to formulating and delivering a well-structured and thoughtful response. This is a book that all of you in Toastmasters, or anyone interested in developing impromptu speaking skills, will want to have. It will be available as an eBook in Kindle and ePub (Nook, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) formats next month.

Need a Laugh? How about a Sitcom!

A Web site put out an open call for pilot scripts and story bibles for sitcoms they are producing. I wrote the first draft of one and have it out for review. I plan to submit my materials soon.

But Wait, There’s More!

I’m also planning to publish an eBook of a short story I wrote and finish a couple screenplays I started years ago. I’ll post information on my site as it becomes available. Thank you for your interest and support.

How to ask the right question

To get the right answer, you need to ask the right question. Learning to ask the right question is a crucial skill for interviews, research, and problem solving. It can guide you to the truth, discover things you never expected, and even help you learn more about yourself. How do you ask the right question? Here are a few tips.

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“One simple trick” to writing a great speech or story

As you browse Web sites, you’ve probably come across the “one simple trick” ad that shows you how to lose weight or save on car insurance. (The ad service I use may be displaying one now above this post.) There is a “one simple trick” that will help you write your next speech or story. It’s a simple trick that helps you choose your subject, gives you the endurance to go through the writing process, and ensures that your work entices and excites your audience.

That one simple trick is passion.

It seems obvious, as all simple tricks are. But how many times have you picked a subject that you think interests you, but it doesn’t really excite you? You wind up becoming bogged down in your work. If you are able to finish, the lack of passion becomes evident to your listeners or readers. So, the real trick is how to find subjects you are passionate about. Here are some ways to find them. Read more »