Listen with an exclamation mark after it seems odd. It infers listening loudly. This is one of the many important skills I will be teaching this afternoon at the StoryListeners Workshop. We’re also covering how to be a better questioner, as a formal interviewer, but also (and more importantly) in regular conversation. The emphasis, however, will be on listening.

As an experiment at the next business or social gathering you attend, stand back and watch people in conversation with each other. Is either person really listening? Are they so concerned with what they’ve got to say next that their minds are blocking out an important thing the other person is sharing with them? I see this all the time (and sometimes am guilty of it myself)! How much more will our lives be enriched if we simply listen with an exclamation mark after it?

This afternoon we’ll be sharing new ways to practice skills that will lead us to better listening. I’ve found a whole new world opening up to me when I truly listen. I’m excited about teaching others how to do the same. Our next workshop is July 11. If you’re interested in more info, respond to the contact page at LifeStories Alive’s website .

Happy listening!

StoryListeners Workshop

I’m preparing the final details on a fun and informative workshop, a StoryListeners workshop. We are familiar with storytellers. In fact, some people are very good at story telling. Few people, however, are proficient at story listening. In my work at LifeStories Alive I have discovered new and fun ways to ask questions and listen to answers; ways I never dreamed of in the past. I am looking forward to sharing those ways and techniques with those who attend the workshop.

Here are the details:

Join us for a StoryListeners Workshop.

  • Learn to gather the stories of your loved ones.
  • Learn to listen, again.
  • Improve your questioning techniques for a formal interview or a casual conversation.
  • Connect the generations in your family.

Saturday, June 27 from 1 pm to 4 pm or Saturday, July 11 from 9 am to noon.

Treaty Oak Bank, 101 Westlake Dr, Austin, 78746

Cost: $175, includes special gift.

Limited seating available.  Reserve your seat with a $50 deposit and by contacting Mike O’Krent at either 512-431-8166 or .

Please feel free to forward this to your friends and family.

If I Live To Be 100

I was given as a gift an incredible book, If I Live To Be 100, Lessons from the Centenarians by Neeah Ellis, by my friend, Stephanie at Mosak Advertising & Insights . In the work that I do, I’ve had the joy of capturing the LifeStories of two centenarians; one was a lady in El Paso who was 103, the other a lady in Austin who was 100. This book does a great job of not only telling some of the stories of this incredible group of people, but also gives you an insight of what it’s like on the interviewer’s side of the microphone (and what a joy it is!).

I remember hearing on NPR (National Public Radio) a clip of one of the ladies Neeah interviewed. The 100+ year old giggled as she described one of the secrets to her healthy long life. She  said, a bit timid and embarrassed by the answer to come, “Early in the morning, if the weather is good enough, I walk outside my cabin to the lagoon go skinny dipping.” Neeah then asked, “Aren’t you worried that someone will see you?” She answered, still giggling, “At my age, I don’t think anyone would want to.” 

You will learn from this book the joys and struggles of living so long. After reading it, I look forward to living to be a healthy, happy, and a bit fiesty 100+ year old guy. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have.