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What is With One Word

Writing for speaking and writing for reading are on opposite sides of the communication coin. With 1 Word(r) is a kinesthetic approach to Writing for Speaking that intertwines Long Form Improvisation tenets and a Design Writing structure for the creation of personal stories that ties into the personal or corporate brand message. Because we think/dream/communicate in pictures it makes the most sense to create the same medium for our presentations.


Writing for speaking and writing for reading are on opposite sides of the same communication coin. The disconnect is that reading is mono dimensional while speaking is dynamic. Yet we tend to sit down and write a speech like an email, white paper, book, or heaven forbid a PPT.


We have created a dynamic Writing for Speaking format, called With 1 Word. W1W draws out personal story through tenets from long form improv and the structure of design writing for the recall and telling of personal story.


When we weave personal story into the message, content, date sets, brand message, etc., you increase the audience’s ability to remember what was said. The secret sauce to the writing for speaking technique With 1 Word is that it enables you to freely access the memories, experience and emotions that are stored within the Limbic System vault.


The way this game works is by embracing three tenets that have propelled me as an Improvisor. “First thought, best thought” that poet Allen Ginsbergused to describe his unplanned and confident writing style. The first tenent sets up the second tenent – “Yes! And…” – by saying Yes! We are acknowledging the gift our minds have given us, the “And…” statement gives us permission to further focus on the first tenent. We understand that “No! But…” is the end to any collaborative conversation, even if we are having that conversation with ourselves. The third tenent becomes more powerful the more often you play the game. “Free Association”, as described on line is, “consciousness without censorship as an aid in gaining access to unconscious” memories.


The key component to making this game work is the need for recall without preconceived notion. We achieve this by spontaneously selecting a word, for early game players we recommend using only Nouns as they tend to be a bit easier. When playing this game in a group setting you can crowd source or “create” a word – STEP 1 - ask someone what their mother maiden name is and how it is spelled –STEP 2 ask someone else to give you a Noun that begins with the letter from the last name that you have chosen and that is your W1W word to speak on.

If you are playing this by yourself you can do one of 2 things – click this LINKto get your word of the day and a chance to see the game played in a group. Or grab a book, open it to any page and without looking, point to the page. Viola there is your word. NOTE – this is often harder because you may not get a Noun, which is easier from which to draw personal story. Advanced play delves further into more abstract methods for triggering memories.


I am driven to share With 1 Word with everyone who has something to say on any of life’s stages from social circles to keynotes.


Next weeks blog will dive deeper into the corporate stages that are benefitting from With 1 Word.


At Your Service,

Keith MJ Bailey

Live Your Life Well Spoken




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