I received two new books yesterday.
One is 'Made to Stick' by the Heath brothers. They study and explain what makes something, stick in our mind. Why do we remember one story, one parable, one advertisement, and not the others.
I am just at the beginning, but already I feel it was a worthwhile book to buy. Of course, the points seem easy, to do it is less, but already knowing can help. And again, "tell a story" is between them.
The second book was written about the time I was born, more then seventy years ago, and it is still modern and actual. "If you want to write" by Brenda Ueland, is not only about writing, but other creative endeavours. We all have it in us, and we all should give it room and work on it, not let it kill by fear, critic, insufficient self confidence, either by judging it by money or fame it produces.
"Even if not a page gets published, do not stop." Of course, it is easy to speak about Van Gogh, whose life I would not have wanted to live, whose example inspired me yes, but what good made him the millions now his painting are worth, when he died so poor and in an asylum? It is a good example for not giving up, not giving so much importance to outside critic, inside doubts, trying our best, keep trying. But not of the life we lead at the same time.
It is a book that will inspire me to other speeches, give new ideas to express some of mine's. Yes, we are all unique and we all have something special to tell, weather by writing, painting, speaking, or gardening. We all grow, understand better, by doing them, going deep, daring.
Dare to fail - the title of my speech today, at the Area contest in Lewisham's Speaker's club humorous contest, did begin not as a humorous tale. I wanted to remember and revise for others all my "Competent Toastmaster" Manual speeches, one by one, and what I did wrong each time. And of course, make understood, without telling explicitly, then doing it, daring, I learned and changed to better speaker.
Next week the 9th speech, then in October, the 10th. After that, I can do any from the Advanced manuals. I have already a few in view, one about the Iron Courtain, but I do not see when and how can I speak about that. Also, now is the time: the 20th anniversary the Eastern Block stumbled down. It is important to remember the Wall and what it stand for, the Iron Curtain, and how real alas the metaphor was.
Some ideas and realities are worth learning to speak, to tell them better.