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A little announcement… My next book, Speak Easier, will be released on Monday.
Speak Easier is a small, practical guide to public speaking for everyone—whether they’re presenting at a big professional conference or in their local PTA meeting. It’s not about what to say on stage (there are other books that go into that) but about the nuts and bolts of preparing for a talk, giving it on stage (or on screen), and what to do after you’re done speaking. Think more slide creation, what to wear, how to do a tech check, etc. and less ‘here’s how to tell a TED-style story.’
It’s essentially a step-by-step guide with a little self help and encouragement thrown in.
I’ll be emailing y’all again on Monday once it’s live.
Some Interesting Things
Go watch Bo Burnham’s Inside.
Sarah Esterman is one of the smarter people I know. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her multiple times when she spoke at Litmus Live and her talks were always the ones that stuck with me most. For all of her insights on marketing, email, team work, and communication, one of the things I respect the most about Sarah is her honesty, something that is on full display in this recent post about burnout, work, and chronic illness. Too many people experience burnout but don’t call it what it is or take steps to combat it or talk about it openly for fear of losing their jobs or some perceived momentum with their careers. Which sucks. So, it’s refreshing, educational, and inspirational to see Sarah do just that. 💜
Last night, our local Dems club had our monthly meeting and we were joined by someone from a local chapter of PFLAG, an LGTBQ+ support and advocacy group. She shared a wonderful reading list that’s worth bookmarking. Lots of new titles to dig into, but I can highly recommend The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang—my oldest and I both loved it.
It’s good to see the US government make Juneteenth a national holiday (happy early Juneteenth BTW!) but it’s hard to gloss over the fact that it doesn’t do anything on a practical level to right the many, many wrongs of slavery. America could pay reparations, or work towards defunding racist police departments in favor of funding community resources and support, or expunge convictions that overwhelmingly affect the Black population and provide support for returning citizens. But America chooses not to do those things. A national holiday is a wonderful first step to see, but there’s still so much work to be done.
NPR has a great story about Opal Lee—the Grandmother of Juneteenth—and her decades long fight to see it become a national holiday.
Remember these 14 House Republicans who voted against making Juneteenth a national holiday, citing nitpicky, bullshit semantics as their excuse. Vote the assholes out if they represent your district.
Let’s end on something more positive… I adore this video of Yo-Yo Ma answering questions about the cello. I think Jason Kottke is spot on when he says that what makes it so effective is that they’re not the usual questions you hear in an interview.
The Regular Communication Playlist
Here are the songs keeping me going this week. Follow along on my official Spotify playlist.
- Christmas at the Zoo, by The Flaming Lips, came on the other day and it was instant nostalgia. Such a great tune.
- All or Nothing is probably by favorite Nathaniel Rateliff song. Loved seeing a live version released this week, with a killer guitar solo (that tone!!!).
- Spoiler alert: I quote Nas in my upcoming book. Enjoy No Idea’s Original.
- Let’s get into some Bo Burnham. Every. Single. Track. On. Inside. Is. Amazing. But my favorites are How the World Works and Welcome to the Internet.
- Finally, I’m really into Cloud 9 from Beach Bunny and Tegan and Sara.
Have your own favorite songs getting you through the week? I’d love to hear them. Just hit reply and let me know what I should listen to next.
Something to look forward to from Maya Angelou:
Won’t it be wonderful when Black History and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book?
Just U.S. history.
We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress.
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