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Communication

68 STASHED IDEAS

Everything has to be written while keeping your ‘story world’ in mind, a place having consistent rules and logic, and making sense to the reader.

We can sketch fictional maps and diagrams about your world, helping us construct it in front of our eyes while aiding the flow of creativity.

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@kin81

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Communication

Sometimes flashes of ideas can come out of nowhere, but normally, creating a whole world requires a long and slow intake of relevant material.

A lot of contextual information is required for creative writing, which only comes from reading and observing the world.

Instead of sitting and brainstorming, fishing for inspiration, a better way is to just be curious about what we would love to know.

  • The structure of our writing often sets the pace for the reader.
  • Short, snappy words pedal fast movement, indicating intense action and speed.
  • Lengthy descriptions keep the speed slow, putting the reader in a comfort zone.
Creative Work Is Ambiguous

Authentic creativity has the power to be reinterpreted and reinvented by the reader. They offer an enticing ambiguity, a place where the reader can be friends with the characters and feel like spending more time inside.

A good creative work is like a mirror, reflecting the reader's imagination in a kaleidoscopic way.

One has to first create a seminal image and use it as the main pillar to build an entire world around it. This is a tricky part as there can be several such images (or imagination keystones) that become the centre of the entire narrative.

Once we figure out a seminal image to anchor on, we can then construct a story narrative and begin to build our world.

While it may look paradoxical, constraints lead to a better, faster and more creative output, making it easier to sprout new ideas.

Certain plot points, like the lead character having to reach somewhere at a particular time, or a character getting eliminated, can lead to movement in your story. Adding more constraints can clear writer's block, contrary to the popular notion of removing them.

Typos

Keyboarding mistakes, those accidental strokes, misspellings and mistaken word selection we make while typing on a computer or phone are called Typos. These can be a result of ‘fat fingers’, bumpy rides, distraction/multitasking, uncontrollable movements or even dyslexia.

A type of neurosurgery that is used to treat involuntary movements has a side effect of forgetting how to touch type. This disruption in the ability to use a keyboard is called dystypia.

We take typing on the keyboard for granted, but it is actually an extremely complex process. Even making errors is a feat.

What we achieved over the past few decades isn’t even necessary any more due to technology, which is taking care of our keyboard fiddling with spell check, grammar correction and autocomplete functions.

Google sees a typing error in one tenth of the billion plus searches every day.

Deep learning, AI and neural networks work to understand and correct our typing errors online, trying to figure out our input. The advanced language processing ensures that typos are taken care of proactively, and the search engine knows what we are trying to find using the various signals we give by our keystrokes.

Example: Typing Arnold S on the Google search bar provides the correct spelling of the actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Google knows most people spell it wrong.

We eventually may not have to type by hand anymore, as that is where the friction and the typos are coming from.

Typing by hand on a clickety mechanical keyboard(which have their own fanbase) or even on the smartphone is going to be replaced by technology beaming our thoughts, content or search word directly from our brains into PCs, smart glasses or wrists and get the perfect input every time.

Address these two key questions:

  • What do you want to accomplish by delivering your presentation? If you are presenting a product to a customer, do you want to make the sale to meet your quota, or do you believe your product will make their life better? Any goal that does not serve your audience or does not offer them something valuable should be secondary.
  • What are you willing to do about it? Place yourself in your audience's shoes and share your message clearly and understandably.

Voltaire said that "Perfection is the enemy of the good." This is true when it comes to presentations and probably the biggest obstacle.

More than anything, your audience wants to connect with you as a person. To accomplish this:

  1. Familiarise yourself with your presentation, but don't memorise it.
  2. Practice just enough to feel confident that you know your structure, the major points, and overall flow.
  3. If you make a mistake, don't apologise or act flustered; just collect yourself and continue.

To deliver a presentation that will engage your audience, you need to balance structure (preparation) and improvisation (flexibility).

  • Structure. Think about the most pressing concern of your audience, and how you can best address it. Then use that to organise your message logically. (e.g., problem, opportunity, solution, feasibility, recommendation, etc.)
  • Improvisation. Things will come up during your presentation. You must be able to respond to your audience in the moment.
Qualities of a great presentation

Great presentations are rare. Presenters often fail to make an impact, not because of what they're presenting but because of how they're delivering it.

An excellent presentation is about how well you engage your audience. It consists of three specific qualities.

  • A balance between structure and improvisation.
  • Generosity. Offering your audience something of value.
  • Relatable.

One can have deep conversations about any topic, including the weather, and a shallow person can have a trivial, weary conversation about deep topics like the Simulation Theory or the Universe.

According to the Buddhist philosophy, the mundane can be grand, fulfilling and deep. The whole world can be glimpsed in a single grain of sand.

A skilled conversationalist can have a profound talk on any subject, as anything can be raised to a different level simply by having a higher perception.

A conversation need not be created but can be a natural organic occurrence. One just needs to respond in a similar manner: If the topic is a golf tournament, a response story needs to be related to that, and not something out of the blue.

If we remove our masks and become who we really are, our intimate and profound conversations will lead to a better, daring dialogue that is interesting and productive.

Hating Small Talk At Parties

Most of us are beyond weather, parking and traffic-related conversations at parties. We have deep, substantial topics to discuss, which are not hollow and unproductive like most party small talks are.

Small talk has its benefits, it is designed to prevent controversies and hurt, smartly avoids religion and politics, and is a way to test the waters before we decide to talk about other stuff with someone.

Managing social anxiety disorder at work

People with social anxiety may face specific problems in the workplace, such as the inability to network effectively, failure to develop relationships with coworkers, fear of attending business social events, lack of self-confidence, and difficulty speaking up in meetings.

There is no limit to the achievement of shy people when shyness is properly managed. While it is not the same as social anxiety, ideas that help shy people adapt can also be useful for managing social anxiety in the workplace.

  • Job interviews. Going on a job interview may be challenging. Proper preparation with mock interviews and engaging in deep breathing practices may help to calm yourself.
  • Job duties that include presentations or cold calling clients can be managed with social skills training, reading self-help books, or groups such as Toastmasters.

The inability to network and build work relationships will make it more difficult to advance at work.

To become more comfortable with coworkers, continually try to expand your comfort zone. Engage in small talk with people you see during the day in the lunchroom, the elevator, or at the water cooler. Greet people with general comments or compliments. Start short conversations. It's less important to say the right thing and more important to show up and be present.

If you live with a social anxiety disorder, you might agonise asking a question about your work or clarifying an issue.

  • See if you can make an appointment. Practice what you will say so your ideas are clear.
  • If you still find it hard, communicate through email. Always prepare a list of points when you go into a meeting.
  • Gradually work up to ask harder questions. Start with the least anxiety-provoking question, then work your way up to harder topics.
  • You probably show up late for meetings so that you don't have to engage in small talk. Instead, try to arrive early for meetings so that you can meet people as they arrive.
  • Remember that others may also feel uncomfortable about speaking up. They are also nervous about voicing their opinion. They will be relieved if you speak up first.
  • Examine the thoughts you have while in a meeting. Ask if the thoughts are helpful and realistic.

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