Don’t Miss the Good Stuff!

Last week I heard speaker Scott McKain who stressed an idea about life in general: "Don't miss the good stuff." I also stress the importance of that idea about the opening of a presentation. I tell my presentation skills workshop participants to begin their next speech with "good stuff."  Beginning with an idea, quotation, or story that grabs the attention of the audience jumpstarts a successful presentation.

I also agree with Scott about life:   don't miss the "good stuff" around you. For me recently that has been watching six men’s NCAA tournament games in Chicago's United Center last weekend with my son. This regional men's Division I tournament was our eighteenth together, and we have seen 94 different teams in that period of time. (Not that I’m a numbers person, but Josh keeps track of them.) He and I also devoured some of the best tournament food—brats, barbecue, popcorn, hot pretzels, and ice cream in a waffle cone, just to mention a few. We justify all this "health" food by saying we only do this once a year.

Whatever city we are in, we take in the sights, from pier food in Jacksonville, Florida, to hiking in the Smokies when the games were in Knoxville. This past week-end we toured the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry. The bonus this year was that our wives and my grandchildren joined us on Saturday and Sunday afternoon when there were no games.Sue, Steve, & Knox

This is "good stuff" for me. But other "good stuff" is the first daffodil popping up out of the ground and the grass going almost overnight from brown to green as spring begins to show its mighty colors.

Whether in a speech or in life, pay attention to the "good stuff." What is “good stuff” in your life? I welcome your comments.


Steve Boyd
Steve Boyd
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. Steve won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in 1970 and was chosen Outstanding Professor of the Year at NKU in 1984, among other awards and honors. Since retiring, he volunteers with nonprofits, spends time with family, travels, preaches occasionally, and enjoys reading and writing. Contact Steve at (859) 866-5693 or at

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