Archive for January 2019

169: Cliffhangers



Cliffhangers are endings in stories that leave an audience in suspense.  The term cliffhanger originated in the 1930s from early film serials in which episodes ended with characters in desperate situations such as hanging off the edge of a cliff.

This episode explores why and how you can use cliffhangers in all your communication.

The reason to use them is simple and obvious. You do it to arouse and hold curiosity. Your aim should be to open curiosity loops and keep them open until late in your story, or at the end of it.

The word story refers to any intentional communication you have with people on or offline.

You will discover a powerful example of great cliffhangers in today’s episode. They are in the first two paragraphs of a short story called “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster,” by Jon Franklin.

Franklin is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who shows you how to use fiction writing techniques to engage people in true stories.

You will also learn about the use of of this magnetic force in:

  • News broadcasts
  • Email
  • Webinars
  • Live sales presentations

Your ability to master the effective use of cliffhangers in all your communication will help you win people’s attention, trust, and business.

Get excited about the cliffhanger, a simple powerful tool to enrich your life and business.


Writing for Story by Jon Franklin


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168: Walk Your Talk

walk your talk


“Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has passed.” That quote is by George Zalucki, an international icon of self development. It is also one of today’s guest’s favorite quotes.

Our inspiring guest is Ray Higdon, a seven figure earner as a former network marketer and now as an internationally recognized network marketing coach.

This episode is definitely for you even if you are not a network marketer and have no interest in it. Why? Because it is a powerful conversation about showing up in your life and business 100%. it’s about stepping into the power to walk your talk.

You will feel Ray’s authentic energy throughout this interview.  That energy literally radiates from Ray’s voice and touches you on a level beyond words. You can’t help but feel uplifted and empowered by Ray Higdon’s authenticity, vulnerability, and passion.

People pay Ray six figures for the knowledge, wisdom, and life changing secrets that he shares freely with you in today’s podcast episode.

Ray dropped so many value bombs in this interview. Here a just a few of the high ticket lessons you will learn:

  • Releasing emotional baggage to attract wealth and happiness
  • The value of becoming uncomfortable
  • Why a breakdown proceeds every major breakthrough
  • The transformative power of two simple words: Until & Despite
  • What real consistency looks like
  • Why life’s worst circumstances can’t really stop you
  • One pivotal event that unlocked Ray’a power to grow, succeed, and contribute
  • Why you should learn to take action before you are ready
  • One book that transformed and empowered Ray’s life
  • How you will feel when you align your words with your actions

If you are tired of being a spectator of this rewarding Life Game, listen to this entire episode with Ray Higdon, and become a winning player.


Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


“I don’t feel pressure; I just see opportunity.” – Larry Bird (Ray’s favorite)

“Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has passed.” – George Zalucki

“Don’t wish for things to be easier. Wish for you to be better.” – Jim Rohn



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167: In Late, Out Early

in late, out early


You’ve learned about how to create a strong hook to open your stories in a previous episode. Now, we will take a deeper dive into the subject.

Learning how to grab people’s attention immediately is vital to  your success as a storyteller. You can get everything right after your opening, but if that opening is weak, they will never experience your story.

This is particularly true in 2019; it’s the digital age, and we are used to everything on demand. Most people have a Twitter attention span.

In Late, Out Early is a screenwriting technique that’s beautifully explained by master screenwriting teacher, Syd Field in several of his books.

Field uses this term to describe how you create a compelling scene in a screenplay. Here’s what it means literally. You begin a scene at a tense moment in a conflict between characters. You thrust the audience into the conflict that’s already in progress (in late), let them experience it for a short while, then end the scene before the conflict is resolved (out early).

Psychologically, this hooks viewers by arousing strong curiosity and not satisfying that curiosity until much later in the script. The technique opens a curiosity loop and creates cliffhangers.

Ideally, you will continue to create cliffhangers throughout your story. That keeps people involved until the end.

This next point should be obvious, but I’ve seen it violated often. You must always deliver the payoff to any cliffhanger by resolving the problems you introduce. If you do not, you will have cheated your audience. They will feel it and draw away from you.

You will learn how James Cameron uses the in late, out early technique brilliantly in Terminator 2. 

In this episode, you will also learn to ask better questions that will strengthen your storytelling power. Here is a typical bad question that people  ask. How long should my video, sales letter, email, or any marketing message be? (they are all examples of stories).

Why is it a bad question? Because it does not have an answer that will empower you. It implies that there is an ideal length for your important communications with popspects, clients, and customers.

The question that will serve you better is: How can I keep people engaged in any message or story that I deliver no matter how long it is?

People will stop watching a boring thirty minute film, but they will remain engaged in a compelling three hour film.

You will also hear about a great exercise you can do immediately to add magnetic power to all your communication.


Screenplay by Syd Field

The Screenwriter’s Workbook by Syd Field

Four Screenplays by Syd Field

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166: Killer Word

killer word


Are you a prisoner to a simple word that you hear every day? Many people are.

It’s a common word that we all use and take for granted. And, it’s a killer word. Literally.

The word is DECIDE. Here are two dictionary definitions of decide:

  • Come to a resolution in the mind
  • Make a choice from a number of alternatives

In this episode of one word stories, you’ll discover the deeper meaning of the word, decide. You will learn what makes it a killer word.

Decide is a simple word. It’s safe to assume that all of you know what it means. Still, many people have trouble making simple decisions.

Etymology, the study of word origins, teaches us a few fascinating things about decide:

  • Decide has two parts, a prefix and a suffix.
  • The prefix (the part that comes before) is de.
  • The suffix (the part that comes after) is cide.
  • Both parts are derived from Latin – de means off; cide means to kill (from the Latin verb, caedere)
  • Decide literally means to kill off.

I believe that decisions often feel hard to make because they require that you kill off every alternative but one.  It means giving something up. We don’t like giving things up.

Our resistance to giving things up creates a lot of conflict. We get caught up in the “what if” game. Faced with a number of alternatives, we ask, “What if I give up _____ and lose _____?

The what if game is a losing game. It creates an endless cycle of indecision that drains our energy.

If you have trouble making decisions, consider this thought. It could liberate you. You’re not really giving anything up when you decide. You can’t give up what you don’t have.

When your mind is reeling with alternatives to choose, you don’t “have” any of them until you make a choice. By not choosing, you have nothing.

Stop asking, “Which is the best choice?” It’s a bogus question because it doesn’t have an answer. The best choice is THE ONE YOU MAKE.

You will discover the truth of that last sentence when you ignore your mind chatter and take a bold step in one direction by choosing one alternative.

You choice, your action, will energize and empower you. Then, commit 100% to your choice, and make this other powerful discovery. Nothing means anything, until you make it something.”

Decide today to kill indecision. Step into your personal power by taking the power away from a killer word.


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165: Story Endings

story endings


How do you create impactful story endings? Most of you are business storytellers; you use stories to communicate persuasive sales messages.

Those can be live presentations, webinars, sales letters, face-to-face, one-on-one sales, even phone conversations – any communication designed to move people to some kind of buying decision.

All of those qualify as stories. You can begin strongly, develop strongly, but if your story endings are weak, you will not influence people to take actions that will improve their lives, you will not move them to buy from you.

In this episode, you will learn about the important elements of all your story endings. These elements make up the secret sauce that gives all your business communication irresistible persuasion power.

These key questions will help you create knockout story endings:

  • Do people must feel the conclusion of your story in their minds, hearts, and bodies? They must experience your message and feel satisfied and inspired by it. Inspired to say yes to what you’re offering.
  • Have you delivered on the big promise that you have made at the beginning of your story? (hopefully, you have made one)
  • Have you resolved all the problems you introduced at the beginning? Problems that you audience have and want to eliminate.
  • Have you closed all the loops you created in your story? (curiosity loops that keep people engaged from beginning to end)

You will review two powerful analogies that help you clearly understand how strong story endings work. They are:

  • The musical analogy – when you hear a classical symphony, you experience its beginning, middle, and end with your whole being. The final note of a symphony resonates in your gut. You feel a satisfied sense of conclusion.
  • Ocean wave analogy – You experience the formation of an ocean wave, it’s build to a peak, and it’s rapid crashing resolution on the shore the same way you experience music.

Alo, you will rediscover the two things your story endings can’t live without:

  • Future-casting – Your entire story is a journey for the person receiving it. As you guide your audience to the final destination, you must paint a vivid picture of what life will be like when they say yes to your offer.
  • Call to action – This is where so many sales presentations (stories) wimp out. There is no room for unclear language, no room for words like i. You must confidently and firmly tell people exactly what to do to experience the promise, the big benefits of your offer. You must tell people what to do to buy your products and services.

Finally, you will be inspired when you hear the powerful ending of a great book on storytelling (title and author below).

I give you your call to action to be bold, passionate, and direct in delivering your business communication with engaging beginnings, compelling development, and irresistible story endings.


The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass

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