What is involved in speaking spontaneously?

Here’s a little exercise. Choose one of the words below. Be quiet for a minute or so and ponder the word and what it makes you remember. Be still and open-minded, tuning in to hear a specific true story the word inspires. Do not jump in and start talking before you’ve quieted yourself. Set a timer for one minute; speak during that time. Get to the point. Stay on topic. Speak until the timer rings; when it does, finish your sentence and stop speaking.

bug          light          bowl        gum          card       string       rod          can         rip

wall          stand        log          wire          ramp      soap        book       edge       spot

Did the idea for a story came to you? Could you speak about it briefly but clearly? Did it surprise you that it was easy to do? Or were you stumped? Did you go blank? Did you try another word? Were you able to tell a story the second time?

Spontaneity is not impulsiveness. It calls for a quiet thought, a listening attitude, a receptivity to ideas and to your ability to express them clearly. It’s a good thing!

Until tomorrow,






When you “lose it”

It seems we all lose it from time to time. Our cool. Our clarity. Our car keys. Perhaps you’ve been onstage and couldn’t remember your line, the next dance combination, the lyrics to a song. Or you’re giving a presentation and haven’t a clue what your next point is, how long you’re supposed to speak, or if you’re even in the right room.Take heart, friends. As my nephew Alistair told me when he was about five years old, “You know, Aunt Beverly, all you ever really need is an idea.” This is true!

Here’s Henry Ford’s take on ideas: “The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.”

So if you think you’ve lost track, lost hope or are lost in space, think again. Ideas are all over the place, so ready to help you, so present and useful. Trust them.


Until next time,