Note to Self
Note to Self
Mar 15, 2017
Government Secrets Worth Leaking... or Keeping?
Play • 27 min

So, the C.I.A. has a back door to your phone. At least, according to the Vault 7 data dump from WikiLeaks. This week, when are these tactics really making our lives safer?

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writing class radio
writing class radio
andrea askowitz and allison langer
What Did it Take to Finally Get Published?
Are you writing like crazy but just can’t seem to push the send button on your submissions? Today on our show, Writing Class Radio student Margery Berger tells us what’s been holding her back. Margery Berger has told a story on this podcast before. On Episode 46: An Object is Not Just an Object she told a stunner about her obsession with her scale.  Margery has been in class with us for 3, maybe 4, years. She has every ingredient to be a published writer, except one.  She is perfectly self-conscious. She knows herself. She’s willing to get vulnerable. She does the work. She gives great feedback. She has endlessly interesting ideas, and a stockpile of really good stories. And she’s frickin’ talented. But, what she doesn’t have is the guts to send her stories out for publication.  Today she did, not just here on Writing Class Radio, but she submitted the story heard on this episode to Next Tribe and got published the same day. You’ll hear her story: My Boyfriend Said My Hands Are Ugly and I Can’t Get Over It. You’ll also hear a conversation with Margery about what’s holding her back. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer ( and Andrea Askowitz ( This episode of Writing Class Radio is produced by Matt Cundill of Sound Off Media, Andrea Askowitz, and Allison Langer. Mia Pennekamp is our media specialist. Theme music is by Amadians.  There’s more writing class on our website (, Facebook (, Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work. Go to
32 min
Fiction Writing Made Easy
Fiction Writing Made Easy
Savannah Gilbo
How to Write a Well-Structured Scene
*In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through how to write a well-structured scene. I'll also show you how this structure shows up in a scene from **Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone**. *Here's a preview of what's included: [02:50] A scene is a unit of story that takes place in more or less continuous space and time, features a specific cast of characters, is told from one point-of-view, and contains a value shift (or change) from beginning to end. [04:15] The first thing you need to know about writing a well-structured scene is that every scene needs to start with the point-of-view character’s goal. So, what does this person want to achieve or accomplish or learn in this scene? What are they trying to do? [05:00] Commandment number one is that there needs to be an inciting incident. And this is really just the first thing that gets in the way of your character accomplishing his or her goal. [05:35] Commandment number two is that there needs to be a turning point. A turning point is a moment where the conflict reaches its peak and the character can no longer go after their scene goal in the way they had originally planned. [06:40]  Commandment number three is that there needs to be a crisis moment or a moment where your character faces a decision about how to move forward. Will they do X or Y? [08:10]  Commandment number four is that there needs to be a climax or a moment where your character acts on their choice. Did they do X or Y? [08:45] Commandment number five is that there needs to be a resolution. So, how do they feel now that they’ve acted on their choice? How did their decision work out for them? [10:20] An example of a well-structured scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone including how these five commandments show up and help create a mini-arc of change. [13:55] Key points and episode recap. *Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts* Are you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts! If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance! *Links Mentioned in This Episode:* * Progressive Complications: How to Write Better Conflict (article) * Value Shifts: How to Determine if a Scene Works (article) * 3 Reasons You Should Write in Scenes vs. Chapters (article) * The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne (book) P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!
18 min
The Think Marketing Podcast
The Think Marketing Podcast
Think Media
054: 5 Ways to Kill Distractions and Become Insanely Productive
In this episode, Sean Cannell & Chalene Johnson break down how you can kill your distraction and become insanely productive with these 5 proven strategies.   ****** Learn how you can be a part of a Marketing Impact Academy here 👉 📒 Show Notes and Resources 📒 📘 Connect with Chalene     ➡️     ➡️ YT: @Chalene Johnson 📘 How to Build an Email List Fast (We Reached 283K+ Subscribers Doing This!)     ➡️ Our mission is to help 10,000 purpose-driven entrepreneurs go full-time doing what they love and making an impact through the power of video. We have created an entire part of our company to help equip you in this mission. Here are the ways to work with us here at Think: ✅FREE CLASS: Watch our FREE YouTube class here: ✅CONFERENCE: Join us for the #1 video marketing conference in the US for entrepreneurs: ✅COURSES/ COACHING / MASTERMINDS: Learn about our online courses and in-person events by talking to one of our Think Master Coaches. Grab a spot on our calendar for a 15 min discovery call: Connect with Sean Cannell on Social Media Connect with Heather Torres on Social Media Music provided by MusicBed. Start your free trial here: Read through our YouTube disclaimer policy here:
33 min
Instagram Insider Hacks
Instagram Insider Hacks
Ruthie Gray
Ep. 31: Building an Authentic Instagram Platform without compromising your calling
My guest today speaks about building an Authentic Instagram Platform, and her name is Belinda Letchford, my good friend and parenting coach. Today we're discussing learning how to implement an IG strategy without compromising your calling. She has learned valuable insights from our pro member hot seats like how to better use stories, make connections with your target audience, and more.    Belinda Letchford  lives in Australia, writes on her website and she talks to Moms across the world (thanks to the internet) with her teaching and coaching. Belinda encourages mums to build strong relationships, shape their children’s hearts and use the whole of life to teach faith, character and life skills. She has 4 adult kids, whom she homeschooled. They have all left home now so life looks very different but she continues to support moms to be heart-focused.  (Click below for show notes & Resources) Belinda Letchford, Live Live with Your Kids         Building an Authentic Instagram Platform (Without Compromising Your Calling!)     Belinda, what were some of the frustrations you experienced before you really had a grasp on a good Instagram strategy?      The Learning Curve of Building an Authentic Instagram Platform   B: I felt I needed to get on Instagram and that there was a huge generational gap between other people using Instagram like my kids. The way they shared on Instagram was so vibrant and full of energy. I felt I really needed to get to that point if I was going to continue reaching the next generation of moms. It was hard because I’m a word based person with a focus on blogging and speaking. To switch it over to being image-based and concise with words was really challenging as well as uncomfortable.    R:  It is hard and my target audience is my age, trying to figure out instagram. They say a lot of the same things. A lot of our peers have on Instagram who can figure it out. But, it’s challenging to women our age to learn all of these tips and tricks in the first place.   B:  Yes, and I think that makes you choose a different aspect of yourself to share as opposed to when you're teaching. I'm very comfortable talking to people sitting at my dining room table but learning to share on Instagram is completely different.     R: We've been learning together for a while! Belinda has been tagging along with me to learn and change up her Instagram.  I’ve noticed a big difference in her strategies. Belinda, share with us what kind of strategies you've started to implement with your heart-focused parenting Instagram account and where you're seeing results.    B:  I think the biggest strategy that I have changed is how you've encouraged me to share more of my everyday life, not always teach. I think it's a security blanket for me to have that message always at the forefront. At the same time, that's my passion. Finding the gentle balance of life is just my heart message.              Generating Authentic Conversations on Instagram B: What I really learned is how to take images and the captions and make them into a conversation. I can go from my own feed to jump over into someone else's image and caption and create a conversation over there.    I’ve been really challenged lately when I have conversations here at home, I engage with all sorts of people about multiple things. That's what I do when I jump over to other people’s feed and engage with their captions. I might jump over to someone to talk about marriage or to talk to someone about fashion. Maybe I'll go to talk to them about living in an RV. I think that's a really big lesson for me is to broaden my experience.    One of the things I try to keep myself very aware of is I want to engage with mums and help them grow as mums. It doesn't matter what the experts tell us.
19 min
Resourceful Designer - Resources to help streamline your graphic design and web design business.
Resourceful Designer - Resources to help streamline your graphic design and web design business.
Mark Des Cotes
Presenting With The 10-20-30 Rule - RD248
Follow the 10-20-30 Rule for great presentations. Have you ever heard of the 10-20-30 Rule? It’s more often called the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint, but the principle applies elsewhere as well. This Rule was coined several years ago by Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist who sat through dozens of presentation pitches regularly. It was his job to listen to people pitch their business ideas, and after years of this, he noted that the best presentations, the ones that are more likely to close the deal, all followed a similar format, which he coined the 10-20-30 Rule. And this Rule is simple. • 10 Slides • 20 Minute Presentation • 30 Point minimum size font. That’s it. According to Kawasaki, this setup gives you the best chance to impact the person or people you’re presenting positively. Kawasaki was talking about people pitching business ideas to venture capitalists. But the same principle applies to you, a designer pitching your ideas to clients. Let’s break it down the 10-20-30 Rule. Rule #1: 10 Slides. Kawasaki pointed out that it’s tough for someone to comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting. If you try, you’re more than most likely to confuse them. Follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid.) Limiting your presentation to only 10 slides or 10 sheets or pages does just that. Break your presentation down into 10 points, one per slide. Maybe something like this. • Slide 1: Your interpretation of who the client is. • Slide 2: Identifying the client’s competition. • Slide 3: The Problem the client is facing. • Slide 4: The Solution you are proposing. • Slide 5: How your solution solves the client’s problem. • Slide 6: Examples of your solution in place. • Slide 7: Projections and outcomes from Implementing your solution. • Slide 8: Timeline for the project. • Slide 9: Cost of the project. • Slide 10: Summary and call to action.  This example uses a maximum of 10 slides, but you can do it in less, then all the better.  Rule #2: 20 Minutes. It doesn’t matter if you are allotted 30 minutes or an hour. Your actual presentation should take no more than 20 minutes. If you can’t present your idea within that time frame, you’re doing something wrong. Have you heard of TED Talks? Did you know that TED Talks have a maximum length of 18 minutes? TED organizers chose this time length based on neuroscience research that says 18 minutes is long enough for a speaker to flesh out their idea and short enough for a listener to take it in, digest what they are hearing, and understand all of the vital information. Not only that, but they know that shorter presentations require you to edit things down to the most important and relevant material.  If you have more time allotted to you, use it for introductions and setting up your equipment. You should also leave time for Q&A after your presentation. Plus, you never know when an emergency might arise and cut the meeting short. 20 minutes is the ideal time to keep someone’s interest in what you are showing them. Longer than 20 minutes, and you risk their mind wandering to other things and possibly missing critical points you’re trying to make. Rule #3: 30-Pt Font. As a designer, I trust you know that slides or presentation papers are most effective when they contain very little wording. I’m hoping I don’t have to explain that to you. This 10-20-30 Rule was written for people pitching a product or business idea, not for experienced designers. But just the same, it’s something to remember when you create your presentation slides or handouts. Using a larger point size forces you to cut back on unnecessary verbiage. The only reason to have a smaller type on a slide is to cram on more text. But by doing so, your client may think you’re not familiar with your material and that you need your slides to act as a teleprompter. And that, in turn, may make them feel like you are not invested in them. Not to mention, the more type you have on a slide, the more the client will focus on reading it and not listening to what you’re saying. You know what I mean, we’ve all done it before—reading ahead while ignoring the presenter. Avoid this by using 30 point or larger fonts. Forget the bullet list and instead, tell your clients the key points. It will mean much more coming out of your mouth than words on a screen or sheet of paper. As a comparison, Steve Jobs, a great presenter in his time, insisted on a 96-point type on all his presentation slides. If it’s good enough for a multi-billion company, it should be good enough for you. Bonus As a bonus to his 10-20-30 Rule, Guy Kawasaki also said that the most persuasive presentations he’s sat through, typically used white type on a black or dark coloured background.  The way he puts it is, anyone can put black type on a white background. It’s the default in all programs. However, white type on a dark background is something you have to conscientiously, and shows that you’ve put effort into your presentation. Not to mention that white type on a dark background looks classier and is easier to read. Don’t believe me? Think of movie credits. How often do you see black credits on a white background? Hardly ever. You can learn from that. Do you follow the 10-20-30 Rule? Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode. Tip of the week Capture Full-Screen websites on your iPhone. If you are an iPhone user there's a nifty feature you may not know about. The ability to take full-page screenshots of webpages. In Safari, take a screenshot of any webpage. Edit the screenshot. At the top of the page, you can toggle between "Screen" and "Full Page". Selecting "Full Page" allows you to save the entire webpage as a PDF to your Files folder. This is a quick and easy way to capture the mobile view of any webpage.
17 min
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