Capturing Stories

 If stories can incite an audience to action, then how do we go about getting our stories?  Janice Elsheimer in her book, “The Creative Call,” shares the importance of keeping a “day book.”  I can identify with her sharing that our journals can be our companions and confidants during the most important times of our lives.  “Writers can use their daybooks as a source book for ideas, images, characters, dialogue, and plot for other writing…” 

Jeanne Robertson, a professional speaker who specializes in hilarious humor based on her life experiences, in a session she conducted at the National Speakers Association entitled, “Don’t let the funny stuff get away: turn everyday experiences into speech material that audiences will remember” suggests “jotting down” when something happens and writing up as soon as possible so the stories can materialize.  Indeed, Jeanne Robertson is a consummate story teller herself and is described as “the aunt you can’t wait to talk to at the family reunion, who always has a new story to tell that keeps the whole family in stitches. (The Carlisle Theater, Carlisle, PA).  Read more about Jeanne at her website at


Creating Memories in your Meetings

Toastmasters International

I just returned from a Toastmasters meeting, having been away from a club for nearly 10 years. And I sure have missed Toastmasters!  Many professional speakers like me began our professional speaking careers by getting hands-on training every week by participating in a local club meeting or by being a part of speech contests.  Many of us have found ourselves drawn back to the warmth, enrichment, and personal and professional development that Toastmasters gives us. For those not familiar with Toastmasters, Toastmasters International is a world leader in helping people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience.  Nearly 260,000 members in over 12,500 clubs in 113 countries, this non profit organization (founded in 1924 at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California), is a proven and yes, even enjoyable way, to practice and enhance communication and leadership skills.  Check out to learn more about this organization and find a club that is near you!).

I was struck that, with structure and preparation, a simple lunch hour can be transformed into a wonderful memory.  The meeting was well-organized, timely and fun. Within a structure, incredible creativity can blossom.  For example, one woman did an interpretative reading from the play “The Waiting Room” that transported many of us to the injustices done to women “all in the name of beauty” down through the ages.  I left the meeting with my mind and heart expanded from just being in attendance.   I want to return!

What about you? Are you creating moments during a meeting that will encourage people to want to come back for more?  You don’t need to be a Toastmaster to be able to create memorable meetings or events for your team.  In the next three BLOG entries, I’ll be sharing creative ways that you can use  immediately to create memorable memories in your next meeting.