Lorie’s List – 9/9/2016

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And I’m back with another addition of Lorie’s List! This one is pretty short and sweet because I wanted to tell you about two new websites I came across this week that you’ve got to know about. One is business related and the other is writing related. If your business is writing then I suppose they’re both business, so I stand corrected. Regardless – on to the websites.Person on computer with smart phone and notebook

  • getrecommended.com – I learned about this site during a freelance usability project I did earlier this week, and I’ll tell you I found something I was really excited about. The site is built to be an virtual word of mouth – a cross between LinkedIn and Facebook – where you talk about the business your do and recommendations from people that have used your products or services. It’s still somewhat early days for Aaron and the team at getrecommended.com, but I see a lot of potential here! After talking to Aaron and hearing about some of the things they’re working on I think this could be huge!woman-865111_960_720
  • Inkitt.com – I stumbled across this a few days ago when I heard they were sponsoring a writing contest. They company helps get authors published, I won’t go into the details, but it’s based on algorithms to determine what’s getting the most hits and what is most likely to sell. Right now they’re sponsoring a novel writing contest that will see three finalists get their books published, a professional cover, and money for marketing. The books will also be presented to bigger companies for additional distribution – which could be huge if one of the companies pick up the book!

I would love to know what you think about both of these sites. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

4 Ideas to Make Storytelling Easier

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I’ve gotten some questions recently about storytelling, and I thought I wold share some of the discussion with everyone. First, let me clarify what I mean about storytelling.

Old Typewriter

Tips for telling your story

To me, storytelling can be anytime you’re telling people something. That could be in the traditional sense like a novel or autobiography, or in a marketing sense like a marketing or social media campaign. Instructional design, script writing and video production as well as content development can all fall under storytelling – you’re trying to share information or persuade someone by telling someone something. I look at all these things as storytelling because it puts you more in the mind of getting your information out in a creative and/or interesting way that is more likely to hold interest and make an impact.

With that out of the way,  let’s look at 4 ideas (and a bonus tip) that will hopefully make storytelling easier for you.

  1. Who cares? I know, everyone should care about what you have to say. Unfortunately, that’s not actually true. So ask yourself, who am I telling this story to? Who is going to care from the first word, and who do I want to make care? Spend a few minutes thinking about the audience the piece is for and what you want them to take away from the story your telling.
    Old photo from New Your Times Newsroom of reporters working, on phone and reading

    These guys might care….

    I know that’s the first step in any kind of writing, but too often I see people trying to tell a story, market something or teach something taking a shotgun approach – spreading the information as thin as you can to try to reach as many people as possible. The majority of the time that only makes the story boring and too diluted to have the impact you want.

  2. Watch your language. It’s no secret that when people write for business they write more formally, it’s what we’ve all been taught. But, that’s not always the best option. You need to look at the audience and the story you’re telling. If you’re talking about profit and loss margins something more formal is probably the best choice. If you’re talking about a client’s theme park or telling people about the time you were having such a run of bad luck that your left shoe fell down a sewer grate and you never saw it again, you probably want to be a little more informal.

    What do I mean by informal? Using contractions for one. A lot of people seem to have issues using contractions in their writing, and that quickly makes everything more formal. Word choice is important too! Using slang can also be a big help in making what you’re writing more approachable. If your writing a young adult (YA) romance novel and say, “Would you like to go spend time at the local shopping complex?” versus, “Do you want to go hang out at the mall?” your reader is going to feel like they’re reading a text book – and chances are if they’re reading a YA romance novel they probably get enough of text books in their daily lives and won’t give your novel the time of day.

  3. Let your Medium guide you. I’m not talking about Madam Elaine, Psychic to the
    office-620817_1920

    Let your medium Guide you!

    Masses, I’m talking about the medium you’re using to tell the story. Are you telling your story verbally or in writing? Are you doing a slide show presentation or blog post? Consider the length of time or space you have to tell the story. Shorten or expand as necessary.

  4.  Say it out loud! One of the easiest and fastest ways to check on how your story sounds is to read it out loud to yourself. Listen to how it sounds. Does it sound too formal? Not formal enough? Is there a sentence that’s hard to understand when you hear it? Is it something that is easy to understand and hit the notes you’re looking to hit? The answers to questions like these will tell you a lot about the writing style you used for the piece (or your writing style in general) and the how others will hear it – even when they read to themselves most of your audience will be hearing their voice saying the words so in a way they are hearing it out loud.

    Bonus TIP! Reverse it! If you’re worried that your writing style or speaking style is too formal and you want to work on that, start verbally rather than in writing. This especially works well if you’re telling your life stories. Record yourself telling the story verbally before you start to write. Listen to it carefully. What do you notice about how you tell the story? Is your word choice different than when you write? Are your sentences shorter? Do you use a storytelling voice that is warm and approachable? Keep these things in mind when you start to write and see the difference it can make in the final product!

I would love to hear from you! Drop me a note and let me know what you think of the post and what tips or ideas you have to make storytelling easier!

A Tell Your Story Tuesday Worth Waiting For!

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Thanks for hanging around for Tell Your Story Tuesday, on Wednesday!

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say. Since we seem to have a lot of folks who are too shy to share words around here I thought I would give you a different challenge this week. Tell a story with a picture.  If you’re anything like me you’ve got a couple of pictures that tells the story of a trip, a place, a person or an event. As a matter of fact, here’s one of mine!

Two girls looking out the window at the beach.

My daughter's couldn't wait to hit the beach!

Now, I can’t claim to have thought this up all on my own. I found a website called Cowbird earlier this week. They encourage people to tell a story starting with an image. They’re kind of like a diary using pictures to help tell a story. I thought why not take a cue from them and see if we can’t get some people to tell us a story using a picture.

The regular Tuesday Rules remain:

The Ground Rules:

  1. Be nice! Constructive criticism is fine, but this is strictly a “No Troll Zone
  2. Keep it clean! This site is for folks of all ages, anything not suitable for a PG audience will be removed (sorry, but my kids can read this blog and my 6 year old is a great reader – there are just some things I don’t need her sounding out!).
  3. Keep it fairly short! This isn’t the place to write the next great novel. Let’s see how short stories go before we move into long form writing.
  4. Nothing Copyrighted Please! Please make sure that you’re telling your own story and not someone else’s.
  5. No bashing other people/companies/political parties/ethnic groups/sexual orientation/career choices/physical appearance or ability/musical tastes! Again, this is a “Troll Free Zone” – leave the mean and nasty at the door. It’s one thing to have a funny encounter in a strange situation or a strange encounter in a funny situation. Using your story to insult others is another thing all together.
  6. I reserve the right! This is my blog and my face to the Internets, I reserve the right to change the rules, or remove content that break the rules. Sorry folks, but I’m sure that if you can find someone willing to let you post a story about a liberal Republican that walks with a limp and listens to Yani while sheep herding and why you hate them. I am not that someone, and this is not the place.

Look through your phone, check your folders and find a picture worth a thousand words!

Go ahead – tell me a story!

Hey You – Tell Us Your Stories Tuesday!

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Hey you! Yeah, you. I see you sitting there reading this. You’ve probably even been here before. You’re hoping I’ll tell another story so that you don’t have to. Well my friend, not so fast. You see, I know you have a story that you’re dying to tell. I know you stare at the screen each week thinking about the perfect story to tell. You’re probably writing it in your head right now! See, I knew it! I also know you’ve secretly been dreaming about being a writer for years….

This is your chance. Get the words out of your head and put them on the screen. Share them with me. I can guarantee you tens of readers! Ok, ten reader…maybe. But still, that’s ten people that can certify your writing brilliance! It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be funny. It doesn’t even have to be good. Just tell me the story you’ve been wanting to share but haven’t had the courage.

Writer John by Onomatomedia

See - he can write and so can you!

As with any good endeavor, there are some ground rules.

The Ground Rules:

  1. Be nice! Constructive criticism is fine, but this is strictly a “No Troll Zone
  2. Keep it clean! This site is for folks of all ages, anything not suitable for a PG audience will be removed (sorry, but my kids can read this blog and my 6 year old is a great reader – there are just some things I don’t need her sounding out!).
  3. Keep it fairly short! This isn’t the place to write the next great novel. Let’s see how short stories go before we move into long form writing.
  4. Nothing Copyrighted Please! Please make sure that you’re telling your own story and not someone else’s.
  5. No bashing other people/companies/political parties/ethnic groups/sexual orientation/career choices/physical appearance or ability/musical tastes! Again, this is a “Troll Free Zone” – leave the mean and nasty at the door. It’s one thing to have a funny encounter in a strange situation or a strange encounter in a funny situation. Using your story to insult others is another thing all together.
  6. I reserve the right… This is my blog and my face to the Internets, I reserve the right to change the rules, or remove content that break the rules. Sorry folks, but I’m sure that if you can find someone willing to let you post a story about a liberal Republican that walks with a limp and listens to Yani while sheep herding and why you hate them. I am not that someone, and this is not the place.

Grab your quill and pen. Or your mouse and keyboard. Spend 5 minutes telling us a story. Don’t be shy!

Go ahead – tell me a story!

New Year? New Stories! Tell Us Your Stories Tuesday!

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It’s a new year, that can only mean one thing…that you’ve got a LOT of stories about all the crazy, funny, touching and unbelievable things that happened over the holidays! Let’s hear them!

This is YOUR chance to tell us your story. Telling stories is more than entertaining. It’s sharing a part of you with the world. It’s about making connections with other people. Storytelling is about touching another life by sharing your experiences.

I’ve shared a couple of stories so far, and I know people are following along so  it’s your turn again. Tell me a story. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be funny. It doesn’t even have to be good. Just take a few minutes to put thought to keyboard and tell me about something you experienced over the holidays.

Did your parent/kids/in-laws/neighbors/family do something that even YOU can’t believe? Were you surprised by a gift? Did you manage to surprise someone? Did your kids have a great reaction to Santa’s visit? Did you miss someone this holiday season who’s wasn’t there to celebrate with you? Tell us about it!

As with any good endeavor, there are some ground rules.

The Ground Rules:

  1. Be nice! Constructive criticism is fine, but this is strictly a “No Troll Zone

    Troll free zone.

    Image via Wikipedia

  2. Keep it clean! This site is for folks of all ages, anything not suitable for a PG audience will be removed (sorry, but my kids can read this blog and my 6 year old is a great reader – there are just some things I don’t need her sounding out!).
  3. Keep it fairly short! This isn’t the place to write the next great novel. Let’s see how short stories go before we move into long form writing.
  4. Nothing Copyrighted Please! Please make sure that you’re telling your own story and not someone else’s.
  5. No bashing other people/companies/political parties/ethnic groups/sexual orientation/career choices/physical appearance or ability/musical tastes! Again, this is a “Troll Free Zone” – leave the mean and nasty at the door. It’s one thing to have a funny encounter in a strange situation or a strange encounter in a funny situation. Using your story to insult others is another thing all together.
  6. I reserve the right! This is my blog and my face to the Internets, I reserve the right to change the rules, or remove content that break the rules. Sorry folks, but I’m sure that if you can find someone willing to let you post a story about a liberal Republican that walks with a limp and listens to Yani while sheep herding and why you hate them. I am not that someone, and this is not the place.

Grab your quill and pen. Or your mouse and keyboard. Spend 5 minutes telling us a story. Don’t be shy!

Go ahead – tell me a story!

I Dare You – Tell Your Story Tuesdays!

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I dare you. I double dare you…Alright, I double-dog dare you….TELL ME A STORY! I know people are reading. I know people are liking. Now I want people to share their stories.

This would be great practice for all those holiday events coming up. Let me help you pull together a great little story to tell around the table at a family dinner. Take a moment and put your thoughts down to answer the age-old question, “So what have you been up to this year.” Maybe the story is true, maybe it’s not. I’m not picky, just share a few words here.

Maybe when you get together with family and old friends you reminisce about days gone by. Maybe it’s the time you almost got caught doing something your parents still don’t know about. Maybe there’s a family vacation that is still one of your favorite memories. Let’s hear it!

Every Tuesday I’m doing a post like this one and invite all you folks itching to share your stories. There are no prizes or awards, just the undying admiration of ones of people. I’m hoping with a little luck and your help we can get that up to the undying admiration of tens of people soon!

As with any good endeavor, there are some ground rules.

The Ground Rules:

  1. Be nice! Constructive criticism is fine, but this is strictly a “No Troll Zone
  2. Keep it clean! This site is for folks of all ages, anything not suitable for a PG audience will be removed (sorry, but my kids can read this blog and my 6 year old is a great reader – there are just some things I don’t need her sounding out!).
  3. Keep it fairly short! This isn’t the place to write the next great novel. Let’s see how short stories go before we move into long form writing.
  4. Nothing Copyrighted Please! Please make sure that you’re telling your own story and not someone else’s.
  5. No bashing other people/companies/political parties/ethnic groups/sexual orientation/career choices/physical appearance or ability/musical tastes! Again, this is a “Troll Free Zone” – leave the mean and nasty at the door. It’s one thing to have a funny encounter in a strange situation or a strange encounter in a funny situation. Using your story to insult others is another thing all together.
  6. I reserve the right! This is my blog and my face to the Internets, I reserve the right to change the rules, or remove content that break the rules. Sorry folks, but I’m sure that if you can find someone willing to let you post a story about a liberal Republican that walks with a limp and listens to Yani while sheep herding and why you hate them. I am not that someone, and this is not the place.

Grab your quill and pen. Or your mouse and keyboard. Spend 5 minutes telling us a story. Don’t be shy!

Go ahead – tell me a story!

Leap In – Tell Your Story Tuesdays!

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Jump in like Barbra Ann in 1947 and tell your story!

Leap in and tell your story!

We’ve got some lookers…who’s going to leap? I’m happy to share another story, but I’d love to have someone else post first. So, I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours….

Have a crazy story no one would believe? Did you bump into a celebrity and have an awkward encounter? Have a brief fictional story you want to share with the world? Here’s your chance! I decided it would be a lot of fun to start a weekly storytelling post. This is YOUR chance to tell us your story.

I want to us to share the little stories and antidotes you tell at party and networking events. Or better yet a story about what went wrong at party or networking event. It can funny, sad, inspiring or embarrassing. I’m not looking for perfection, I just want to give folks a chance to stretch that creative muscle they don’t get to use very often.

Every Tuesday I’m going to open a post like this one and invite all you folks itching to share your stories. There are no prizes or awards, just the undying admiration of ones of people. I’m hoping with a little luck and your help we can get that up to the undying admiration of tens of people soon!

As with any good endeavor, there are some ground rules.

The Ground Rules:

  1. Be nice! Constructive criticism is fine, but this is strictly a “No Troll Zone

    Troll free zone.

    Image via Wikipedia

  2. Keep it clean! This site is for folks of all ages, anything not suitable for a PG audience will be removed (sorry, but my kids can read this blog and my 6 year old is a great reader – there are just some things I don’t need her sounding out!).
  3. Keep it fairly short! This isn’t the place to write the next great novel. Let’s see how short stories go before we move into long form writing.
  4. Nothing Copyrighted Please! Please make sure that you’re telling your own story and not someone else’s.
  5. No bashing other people/companies/political parties/ethnic groups/sexual orientation/career choices/physical appearance or ability/musical tastes! Again, this is a “Troll Free Zone” – leave the mean and nasty at the door. It’s one thing to have a funny encounter in a strange situation or a strange encounter in a funny situation. Using your story to insult others is another thing all together.
  6. I reserve the right! This is my blog and my face to the Internets, I reserve the right to change the rules, or remove content that break the rules. Sorry folks, but I’m sure that if you can find someone willing to let you post a story about a liberal Republican that walks with a limp and listens to Yani while sheep herding and why you hate them. I am not that someone, and this is not the place.

Grab your quill and pen. Or your mouse and keyboard. Spend 5 minutes telling us a story. Don’t be shy!

Go ahead – tell me a story!