To read, listen to, or watch

The Dinner Table University

Blog: The Dinner Table University

How to Get Better

The video from Ira Glass is from the additional exercises. Despite the informal nature of the interview, it’s one of my favorites on how to improve at anything: small steps, practiced over (and over), with feedback and peer support along the way. Also, here’s a blog post on something that helped me solicit more useful feedback.

Blog: “What’s one thing I could do better?”

Why (and How) to Write More

I started writing in my 40s, and it was not something I found fun or natural. But it was empowering, and over a (long) period of time, I gradually improved.

“Writing,” by Fred Wilson

Blog: How an undisciplined person was able to blog for 200 weeks in a row

Blog: Why you should write more

On Presenting

Like many people, I was extremely uncomfortable presenting on stage or, even worse, in front of a camera. But like my experience with writing, I muddled through and gradually improved. I still have a long way to go. (Read the “Confessions” post below if you want to understand what I mean). But at least now I appreciate that getting better means a lot of practice and feedback.

Blog: Getting better at public speaking

Blog: “How did the TEDx talk go?”

Blog: Preparing for your TED talk

Blog: Confessions of a public speaker

Related Chapters in Working Out Loud:

  • Chapter 8 - Making You and Your Work Visible

  • Chapter 18 - The Start of Something Big

  • Chapter 19 - Shipping and Getting Better

Additional Exercises & FAQ

Something you can do in less than 15 minutes

Read the following posts on why and how people in education Work Out Loud. Do you see how WOL can help them be more effective and also earn them access to knowledge and opportunities? How might this apply to what you do (or want to do)?

Blog: How a teacher increases her odds of finding meaning and fulfillment

“Working Out Loud in Higher Ed,” by Bonni Stachowiak

Q: Sorry, but I’m just not doing this. It feels too…strange and uncomfortable.

If you’re struggling to do any of the exercises, then use your time to simply explore what other people who have similar goals or similar jobs are doing.

Try as best as you can to remain open and curious. You’re not required to do every exercise in your WOL Circle, and there’s no test or judgment. Just familiarizing yourself with what others are doing can still be meaningful progress.

Examples, Templates & Media

Some “Top Ten” Lists I Published

Think of the Top Ten exercise as a way to contribute your opinions in a low-risk. Sure, it could be directly related to your job. Or it could be your favorite recipes, restaurants, or Rube Goldberg machines. Here are two lists I made:

Blog: 7 short stories I’ll never forget

Blog: Ten posts on the way to the best years of my life

How Easy It Can Be to Create Original Content

This example is also from the additional exercises. Yes, it’s about decorating cookie and Facebook. But the lessons - the kinds of steps she took and the kinds of learning that resulted - are applicable to almost anything you might try to learn or get better at.

“Narrating Our Work,” by Jane Bozarth

Two Great Books on How to Make Work Visible

Show Your Work: The Payoffs and How-To’s of Working Out Loud, by Jane Bozarth

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, by Austin Kleon