Cognitive Ease And Why Nobody Listens To Your Speeches

Note: This is a sneak peek at an upcoming article that will appear in the Toastmaster’s magazine Voices! If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments.

Two presenters give a competition speech. One waxes poetically about personal values, discovery, awareness, self-actualization, and the winding, often dangerous path that brought them to this very time and place—all things that should interest us. The other speaker talks about their quirky family. Who wins? Continue reading


Trees Can Talk To Each Other

loode_tammik_ulastega_kevadelAuthor’s Note: This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Voices! magazine, a publication aimed at Toastmasters- a nonprofit public speaking and leadership organization. It’s set to print at the end of October, but because you’ve been good, you get it a month early.

Imagine a young earth without tall trees. Imagine a place where poplars stretch no higher than your knees, and oaks that come up to your ankle. Imagine fields of fully-grown maples that sway like short stalk wheat, and evergreen firs that blanket valleys like dense, short shrubbery. This is the world we’d occupy, if not for a very special type of fungus. Continue reading