Show, don’t tell; A storyteller’s best friend.

“Tom’s fingers were trembling. His eyes followed my glare to his hands. He jerked them behind his back. Much better. After three tries the question finally came out: ‘Would you… Like, you know. Maybe, some time, have a drink somewhere. Like, with me, I’d be there too.’”

“He was very nervous, that was obvious. Asking me out was really scary to him.“

Let me introduce you: show vs. tell.

Help! All the creativity has left me!

Why did I choose a creative profession!? I’ve been staring at a blank document on my laptop for hours. Well, it’s intermittent staring. I’ve gotten up to make tea, to get cookies, to do laundry, to make more tea, to dance around in the living room, to eat lunch, to make tea, to hang the laundry, to stare at my screen from a different angle and to call my mom. But in the meantime, not a word. Not a single word of story has gotten into my brain, through my fingers onto the screen. Nada, zero, nothing. Why did I choose a creative profession?!

Eliminate these 5 words/phrases from your speech to be taken seriously.

I’m from a country where everything is “-tje”. Biertje, schooltje, dingetje. This popular extension of Dutch words means little. Therefore, that the words above mean: little beer, little school and little thing. Except for they don’t. When your friend invites you to go out for a biertje, this certainly doesn’t mean that he wants to have shot-sized beers with you. Most of the time, -tje is simply used to make something sound less harsh. However, what it really does in many cases is undermine the speaker. This is why so many Dutch people are campaigning to ban the word “bedrijfje” (little company) from everyone’s vocabulary. Saying that you have a bedrijfje, feels like you’re not taking your business seriously. And although the English language does not have similar, obstinate word extension, there are many speech patterns that have the same effect. So, here are 5 things you should stop saying if you want to be taken seriously.

Off to an interesting start; don’t kill your chances with a boring opening line.

“I spent 4,5 hours trying to figure out the perfect opening line and I haven’t gotten any further than ‘Welcome. My name is John and today I will teach you all about bitcoin.’ ”
I seldom have to spend any time convincing people of the importance of a good opening line; your opening will determine how your audience is listening to your message. The more difficult thing for most people to understand is how easy an opening can be. It’s safe to say that 4,5 hours is definitely overthinking it!

A Smashing Introduction

You want your audience to eat up your story from the moment you open your mouth? Of course you do! The right introduction can make all the difference. Do you sound interesting enough to keep listening to? The goal is to get people to just want to know more, ask more, hear more when you introduce yourself. You’re in luck, I have a solid Intro Template for you.

Suffering from Impostor Syndrome; What if they find out I don’t really know what I’m doing?

Public speaking is scary. For the vast majority of the human race this is the case. Even the lucky few who can’t wait to get on stage and expose themselves to an audience of staring eyes, will agree that there is a certain thrill to it. Unsurprisingly, the fear of public speaking is rooted in our own insecurities. Some people feel uncomfortable in their own body when they’re on stage, others are afraid of rejection from the audience. An insecurity I come across often is the so-called Impostor Syndrome, the fear of being found out as a fraud. The feeling that you don’t actually know what you’re doing, you’ve just been lucky so far. Let this fear have the upper hand and you will never be the best speaker you can be.

How Improv Can Make You a Better Speaker and Happier Human

Improvisation theater (improv) is the art of creating theater out of nothing. No script, no director, no rehearsals. Sometimes the improvisors don’t even know the people they are playing with. Still, when you bring experienced players together on a stage, magic can happen. The beauty of it is, improv is for everyone, it is one of the most inclusive communities I know. No wonder, because everyone who has ever done improv knows how enriching it can be to your professional and personal life.

For the past few years I have been observing many talks and presentations. Most of what I’ve learned and gathered about public speaking comes from these observations. What is the difference between a boring talk, a good talk and a great one? I have found that there are 3 elements of public speaking. Boring talks focus on the first, good talks master number one and two. Great talks manage to incorporate the final element as well.

Working from anywhere

There is this wonderful trend going of people realising there is more than one way to organise their work and private life. The people who follow this trend do not want to go to the same office to work with the same people on the same things every day, week after week, month after month and year after year. Neither do they want to go home to the same house in the same neighbourhood in the same country every day. These people are addicted to the unknown and allergic to the conventional. These people are called digital nomads and they work remotely or location independently. I am one of these people.