Checklist For Being a Better Storyteller

I tell stories for a living. That’s what compelling TV is all about — great storytelling. I think I get it from my dad — he’s a fabulous storyteller. He’s been known to captivate audiences with his police stories or tales from the “old neighborhood.”

Some people have storytelling in their genes but you can also learn how to get people to listen to your adventures. The skill will help you at cocktail parties and even when putting your kids to bed!

I’m excited about our guest blogger today — she knows all about storytelling and has dedicated a whole website to the subject at MrsP.com. Mrs. P is portrayed by actress Kathy Kinney, who starred as Mimi on “The Drew Carey Show” for nine years.

How to Be a Better Storyteller

by Mrs. P

Whether you’re at home trying to get your child to fall asleep or at an office party telling a story about sitting in a patch of poison ivy on your honeymoon, having good storytelling skills can greatly improve your life. No one ever walks away from a good storyteller. And good storytellers are always invited back to the next party. Here are seven tips to improve your own skills:

1) Start with the ending. In other words, know how your story will end before you begin. Starting a story is like starting a trip, and if you have a map and know your destination, it will be a more satisfying and entertaining journey for both you and your audience. Read more

How Do You Do It All?

I’m a big Sarah Jessica Parker fan — since the days of Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and that City.” Her latest film, “I Don’t Know How She Does It” tells the story of a working mother who aspires to do it all!

I don’t even have kids yet and I know exactly how her character feels!  Trying to keep it all together at work and at home can leave you overwhelmed and frustrated. But as Sarah Jessica’s character has found — making a to-do list (even if they are in your head) will help you to prioritize and get more done. It will also help to keep you focused and save you time and money.

When you’re running on empty try to remember:

1. It’s OK to not be perfect all the time (this coming from a perfectionist!)

2. Give yourself a break! You are juggling your life, your family’s lives and all your responsibilities at work. Take some time out for yourself to recharge and do whatever you want to do. Even if that means watching the Golden Girls and eating popcorn!

3. Ask for help.  No one will think less of you if you reach out for a little assistance. Two heads are better than one — most of the time.

4. Just say no. Of course you want to help with the bake sale and take the lead on a project at work — but if you can’t do it all, then don’t. It’s OK to say that you can’t pile one more thing onto your plate right now. If that means taking a hiatus from your book club — then so be it!

What’s your secret for juggling your work, family life, hobbies and social lives?

 

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Checklists to Prepare for Hurricane Irene

I’ve been making checklists since I heard that Hurricane Irene was going to hit New York City. Supplies lists, grocery shopping lists, emergency contact lists (because who can remember anyone’s phone number these days!), etc.

I usually don’t panic for storms and blizzards because working in the news business has conditioned me to handle tough situations. But I think this is going to be a really big deal. I know people that are already booking a roofing company austin and other contractors to come and repair their house after the storm is meant to pass.

It’s much different being in an apartment than in a house during a hurricane. This is my first experience in an apartment. Jay is working Saturday night — because the news business doesn’t stop in emergency situations. You can listen to his sports updates on 1010WINS if you happen to be listening to the radio. But once he’s home on Sunday we’ll have plenty of snacks, water, non-perishable foods, candles, batteries and wine — all thanks to my planning and list making. Read more

Back to School Organizing Tips

I’ve been posting about “back to school” a lot lately. I really loved school — my husband thinks I’m a total nerd. But I must confess — high school and college were my favorite. I really love learning, reading and discussing. I think that’s why I love journalism so much — you get to research and become and expert on a number of topics daily. And in a week — they don’t matter anymore and you’re on to something else. It’s great for a short attention span.

But I think being organized really helped me to succeed in college. To help out the less organized I made a checklist for back to campus and got a list from my mother-in-law for parents. And now my friend Scott Gamm, who has blogged here before giving great financial advice, has mentioned me in his slideshow on Mainstreet.com. The slideshow is all about how to be more organized when you hit the books. Check it out and let me know what you think.  I’m slide #3 if you have a short attention span.

 

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Parents’ Checklist for Back to School

Back to school time can be just as tough on parents as it is on kids. I created a “Back to Campus Shopping Checklist” for GetButtonedUp.com and just about now grade school students are getting supply lists sent to them. But what about a checklist for parents? For that I turned to my mother-in-law, Irene Berman. She shares my love of lists and stationary.

She has taught public school for over 30 years in New York and Chicago. This past June she retired and I’ve never seen anyone so upset to leave a job. She really loves finding creative ways to teach kids things for the first time. It’s an amazing trait – I could never do it.

Here’s her Back to School Checklist for Parents:

  1. Take advantage of back to school clothes sales in July and August.
  2. Organize closets to help kids get ready faster in the morning.
  3. Get back to a school time bed routine. You might want to practice with an alarm clock.
  4. Try to get your child’s supply list and shop during sales because Halloween items come out soon.
  5. Update your calendar with school holidays and events.
  6. Check your immunization and medical records to make sure they are up to date.
  7. Make your sure you have emergency phone numbers and contacts for the school to reach.
  8. Create an IN/OUT box for school notice and forms.
  9. Get your home ready by organizing a quiet place for your child do do his homework.
  10. Create a homework box-with all supplies needed for homework…NO EXCUSES!!!! Also, if your kids are a little younger and need a helping hand with a certain area of learning, you could visit somewhere like Little Thinkers Center to get them back into learning!

 

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