Category: Manners and Morals

The Public Speaker – The Importance of Visual Communication

The Importance of Visual Communication- MP3

Have you noticed the trend toward more and more visual communication? Lisa B. Marshall, aka The Public Speaker, will tell you about an informal year-long experiment where she pitted words against pictures.

What does this tell us about communication? First, people really like visual presentations! Second, people really like short presentations! Although QDT episodes are already short (about 6-9 minutes), the slides decks can be consumed in one-two minutes. Undoubtedly, a short visual presentation will encourage some people to go on to read or research more, but many people will not. Thats OK. Youve still communicated key ideas with those people. Youve planted a seed. And it may grow, and they may come back for more. – See more at:

The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face

It is Rosh Hashanah. After a great evening at Liz’s with the entire immediate family, and a nice day at synagogue, I’m heading to bed. As I play on Oni’s and my new Kindle Touch, I began looking through old journal entries and was glad to have developed such a resource. But… Since I don’t journal daily, or even for life-changing events necessarily, I realize I’ve never taken the time to talk about how I met Olanrele Oni or how in love I am.

I met that wonderful man on the first Friday of January in 2011. I had just graduated, spent the holidays realizing I had to move on from my ex, and was eager and confident to move on despite my baggage. I was also embracing online dating, and over the holiday season had received an e-message on from a guy with no picture. I had decided I would respond back because his message was so honest and simple and optimistic. After finding it a sign from God that anyone could live in Catonsville so close to my folks, we set up a time to meet, and I met him at Starbucks on Route 40. Let me detail our first date to the best of my ability at 12 am.

That day I had just come from somewhere and drove my dad’s truck. I got to the shopping center but was early, and chose to walk to the nearby Verizon Wireless near Sorrento’s. It was winter, chilly but not too bad. I felt a hidden, burgeoning excitement coming up within me. From my few messages with him, I knew he was solid and meant business about not wasting time–this excited me. I also didn’t know what he looked like, and felt I had nothing to lose. If he wasn’t smart or was unattractive or we just didn’t mix, I’d be home within 8 minutes. Plus I could get a hot Starbucks drink nonetheless. We texted and he’d arrive in 30 minutes. I walked to Verizon and wandered for no reason, eventually heading back. I like to busy myself with technology and think I had a random question to answer in the meantime. Eventually I found my way, sat down, and patiently waited.

My phone rang. A voice was on the other line, he sounded anxious, excited and afraid. “I have a confession to make,” he said. At this point I imagined the worse. I had something reassuring asking him to come in, as he told me he was outside. “Come on in,” I said, or something to that ring. “I’m fat” he responded. I again reassured him to come in and not be embarrassed. Then, in comes this amazing, handsome, snug man. He was African, my height, stocky like you want to jump his bones gives you an erection stocky, and had the biggest, cheesiest, most beautiful grin on his face.

I stood up and we handshook-pat on back, and I laughed with him that he was joshing with me. “You ‘re not that fat” I think I said. Later, after it was too late, I’d think of “fat with a PH” as in ‘phat’, but even now it’s pop has fizzled. We sat down and sized each other up with some good conversation, and soon decided to purchase drinks. For some reason I picture him in his brown corduroy coat and hat, but I also remember a white sweatshirt with urban designs on it. Anyway, he looked nice and I could see right through his clothes he was better with ’em off. That was nice, and with that affirmation, I didn’t think anymore of it.

Olanrele introduced himself as “Oni”, his surname, and I’m sure explained the name thing. We shared that we’re both around here. I told him I’d have to leave by a certain time to pick up my dad’s medication from Walgreen’s (not Rite Aid, according to Mom), and I remember as we talked about expectations and relationships, I knew we were on the same track and I didn’t want to stop. To put it simply, we were feeling each other. Our conversation was real and while we were being cordial, I wasn’t holding back much. Mom later called or texted to say she picked up the medicine, and I was thrilled.

We talked until the store closed and they kicked us out. I remember asking to touch his hand as if to read it, and see if I could’ get a premonition’ so-to-speak, and remarking just that he had a nice, firm hand was all. Rough, but not too-rough. He has gloves too, I remember that now. Gray, I think. When we left, he was hesitant I’d really see him again, and didn’t want to handshake again, “come on” he said, and we hugged. What a connection. And a goofball. I remember noting that this was my dad’s truck and noting he noted his car, to which I noted no worries of it being crappy, only old. (To this day, Olanrele will say I disliked his car, but I didn’t! I just wanted him to clean up the inside. Nothing wrong with clunkers.)

And that was the first date. I remember being buzzed and I think the next day it was, we got together again. We had an excited energy. He was uncomfortable my meeting at his house, so he came to mine. I drove with him in my mom’s Forester to Oella, Historic Ellicott City, as I wanted a quaint place to go, and he knew of a lively latin dance place. We had nice conversation in the car full of anticipation and growing familiarity, but still sizing-up. When we got there, he ordered us beers, I sat at a tall table in the back and watched people dance on the dance floor. I recall he thought it was cute my dancing in my seat and that he wouldn’t dance on the floor, that it was a no-no for him. I felt fine for that, since not everyone is comfortable with dancing in public nor out either. So we danced via our beers and conversation. Eventually, we headed out and I remember walking back to the car among the frosty sidewalk with him, still hyped-up but cautious not to trip.

When we got back, further deep conversation ensued in front of my house in the cold car. Somehow it escalated to a ‘come over here, baby’ attitude and I found myself on his lap making out. Even now the romance turns me on. His kisses were hot and our greedy little hands were so thrilled to be with one another. He set his ‘I’m the top’ message that night, which I thought was… Cute, and I found that confidence and masculinity a turn on that I could admire and challenge.

Our third date, we spent in Baltimore City at Grand Central. All I can recall is that we boogied down on the 2nd floor and I showed him I could dance dance dance. He showed me that he could sway back and forth, but was hot nonetheless. He had the energy to keep up and the thrill to keep me infatuated.

After first meeting him, I had to duel with myself–was my slutty-the world’s my apple phase over? Yes. And I wasn’t even doing much. But it was an outlook that wasn’t suitable for me nor honorable and secure. Was I happy with it? I had to create my happiness and say goodbye to the lies I’d told myself and the vain hopes to achieve dream men and fake realities. Within months of meeting him, I was happier than ever before, and I am always building. His forgiveness of my foolishness and his embrace of my caring are truly a treasure to me. He’s shared so much with me, I can’t help but love him. Many a time I’ve tested him against dream images and ideal scenarios and I’m thrilled that in reality, he scores across the board. His secrets are safe with me. His hopes and plans have become mine. We continue to grow and learn new things. He continues to share his family and friends with me, and I him.

We now live together, and I’m at my grandma’s missing him. We have a happy home—him and me. I know we still have eggs to crack, and all isn’t a given, but I’m in love. He’s cracked my eggs with me, and I’m thrilled we can… Err… Bake a cake. Make scrambled eggs. Sunny side up. Ugh. I’m thrilled we can cook together, or for one another.

1 am, time to go to bed.