PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

I’m rereading Natalie Goldberg’s 1986 book Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.

In a segment called “Baking a Cake,” she draws a parallel between baking and writing.  When you combine the ingredients in a cake recipe, you don’t have a cake, you have batter.  You only get a cake when you add heat.  Similarly, strung-together details don’t make a good piece of writing; “You must add the heat and energy of your heart.”

I can see the same analogy being applied to speaking.  Information without the “heat and energy of your heart” falls short of an engaging message.

Goldberg also talks about the reverse: writing that is all heat and energy without detail.  You get the “sense of great warmth,” but there is “nothing to bite into.”  I’ve listened to any number of political speeches that match that description.

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