October 2021
HERBIE'S HINTS (named after my dad!)
My Dad loved to tell stories. I may be one of the few people that liked to listen to the stories in their complete and unabridged versions. I liked listening to every twist and turn in his unedited monologues. Not everyone did.
Stories have had value in the way civilizations pass down their history and customs starting with Egyptian hieroglyphics. American Indians sat around a camp fire to allow them to share their social and their ceremonial life. The fairy tales we are so familiar with began as oral stories.
Stories, like all communication, have rules that need to be followed. Especially today when our attention span is so short thanks to text and Twitter. A story needs to be more than a good story, it needs to illustrate a lesson that the audience can apply to themselves.
An exercise I use for clients is to tell their story while they walk down the hallway. They have to tell their story, connect the dots, and connect to the audience. Want to give this exercise a try?
Stay on Your Cutting Edge
My philosophy is that there are no little things and big things. Everything and anything has the potential to be BIG at any time. When a client presented a chronic challenge she had with a “teammate”, we devised a 3 step plan. The plan worked. She attributed success to being prepared. Take 3 minutes to prepare for the “little things."
New Akron Public Schools Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack came to Forum 360
via Zoom. When asked, she described herself in four words. Can you describe yourself in 4 words?

Swensons versus Skyway?

She voted Swensons.
Storytelling is a Business Skill:
3 Essentials of an Effective Story
1. Your Story Has a Twist
You may remember the 1990’s movie The Crying Game. It was before we knew too much about transgender or transvestite or transsexual. The audience gasped at a certain twist in the scene. That is why this scene is memorable almost 30 years later. It’s not enough to have a good story.
Lesson Learned:  Audiences are selfish and lazy: they want to know what is in it for them and they don’t want to work hard to figure it out. You are not done when you have crafted your story. You need to extract the lesson learned and connect the dots to the audience and for the audience. Are you ready to find your twist?
2. Your Story has a Fresh Perspective
The Broadway blockbuster Hamilton’s earnings exceeded the $1 billion in global revenue. It landed Lin-Manuel Miranda among the world’s highest-paid celebrities on the 2020 Celebrity 100 list. The story is not new yet it is told with a fresh perspective, not all true: George Washington is black, John Adams Fires Hamilton, and Martha Washington Names Her Cat After Hamilton.

Lesson Learned: Your story has to have a freshness to it in order for it to be relevant today. As a storyteller you get to have some leeway with the “truth”. In fact as a story teller you are obligated to enhance in order to make your point. You know how the fish gets bigger and bigger the more times the fisherman tells the story. Can you tell a fish story?
3. Your Story Asks and Answers a Question
If you have ever attended an event at my office, you have probably watched one of the iconic Budweiser commercials. I often began and ended a session with someone spilling a tear as they watched a commercial first introduced at the Super Bowl. Each commercial was a 60 second story that asked and answered a question.
Lesson Learned: In one commercial the question is, will the puppy ever see his draft horse friends again? Answered at the end of the commercial. In another commercial the question is will the handler ever see the horse he bonded with as a foal? Answered at the end of the commercial when they are reunited on a public street in downtown Chicago. What question can you ask and answer?
Leslie in Person
October 13 HBA University

Upcoming Forum 360 Shows (w/Leslie as Moderator)

Hollywood Comes to Forum 360
Guest: Daniel M. Cohen, author, film writer, director

From the One Room School House through Covid
Guest: Christine Fowler Mack, Superintendent Akron Public Schools

Watch/ Listen to Forum 360:
Western Reserve Public Media, PBS-TV, PBS Fusion Channels 45 & 49 (Time Warner channel 993) - Mondays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 5:00 pm. After the show airs, you can download it here.

WONE FM 97.5 Sunday 6 am
For online streaming go to http://wone.net/ and click Listen Live. 

WAKR AM 1590 Sunday, 5:00 pm, Monday 12:30 am For online streaming go to http://akronnewsnow.com/ and click Listen Live.
One day at the park as I walked Benji I put his poop bag in my purse. My thought was that when I passed a garbage can, I would remove it. I forgot. For the next day I couldn’t get this smell out of my car.
I tried perfume, I tried air freshener. Nothing worked.
On day two I realized that one of the poop bags in my purse actually had poop in it. I had forgotten to throw it out. I literally had poop in my purse.
Is there something that has gone bad, that you are still carrying around with you literally or figuratively?
Video & Vine
October 28 and December 7
5:00pm - 6:30pm

Join Us October 28 from 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Video & Vine . . . because each participant leaves with a bottle of wine! The group will be small to help us implement safe COVID guidelines.
You will have the choice to present your own material, recite a paragraph of a famous speech, be a TV guest, or conduct an interview. We will Video and immediately play back what we recorded. I will make suggestions, other participants may have comments and suggestions, and then we will Video you again.

Email us at [email protected] for further information or to RSVP to one of our events.

Ask me about my 10 in 10!