Author: mikeswelsh

  • On being curious to get sht done.

    On being curious to get sht done.

    “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” —”Old Man’s…

  • “He works for us”

    May 1, 2024 Mid- ‘ double the company days’ as a Mobster, I realized in a dark moment during one or more of my work travel nightmares that I was burning myself out. I ended up in Phoenixville, ER. While in the ER on New Year’s Eve (pre-COVID), I was having a scan with some…

  • Arcs (of Uncertainty™)

    There are many arcs, some called story arcs, arcs of uncertainty, and more. Sometimes, they are not arcs at all. They are lines of thinking. Ways of making an audience follow along, stay interested, and be entertained.

  • Curveball Questions

    Do you know that time during a meeting, workshop, interview, or other interaction when a question comes up that catches you off guard and/or disrupts the flow, causes a hot flash, and momentarily stops the storytelling rhythm and flow? Yeah, the classic gotcha, curveball, trick, rhetorical question. I used to hate this; it was a…

  • Repetition With Variation

    #Tuesday, this concept is one of those old chestnuts I use to help teammates, clients, and anyone trying to manage or collaborate with any design form. I learned this concept in art school, in Typography I, II, and III, and the three extra advanced electives in typography. Now, I believe I have the best professor…

  • Last time First time

    A quick take on your #TGIF as I roll across the country in my seemingly neverending desire to be out of my comfort zone, continually having to cope and deal with new and different contexts and situations. The anxiety = uncertainty x powerlessness equation from Chip Conely’s book Emotional Equations is at work in all of us,…

  • The Magic Wand

    First, do you know when you are decking your way through a meeting with too many cooks, non-combatants, and ‘talkers’ rather than ‘contributors’? You know them; you may even be one. Folks have much to say but need help understanding how to narrate or storytell well. Some of my posts walk around the issues I…

  • The 5 Slide Rule™

    The 5 Slide Rule™ (of thumb) for planning and over-prepping for storytelling success. This is a people, process, and tools article to help anyone who needs another way to get ready potentially. What this ‘rule’ is not What the 5 Slide Rule is: Beginnings Middles and Ends. When story-making, folks often struggle with’ setting the…

  • Macro to micro views

    Macro to micro views

    Paint a picture. Zoom in and out. 30,000 feet down to street view and back. Come with me; this is a story. Some of what folks struggle with in telling a story is the story is too high level or over indexes on details. As it happens, this is an attempt to break down the…

  • Strategic Benign Neglect

    SBN (Strategic Benign Neglect) is one of the most potent techniques in life, not just in presentations and meetings. The idea is simple and powerful. Do you need to answer every question? Do you need to address everything that comes to you in any form? No. Moreover, you can acknowledge, advance, table, and defer. Acknowledging…