Milo's periodic journal of
learning, life-tips, and laughter

Never type common things again!

Do you get tired of constantly typing your name or someone else's into forms or notes?  Ever mistype your email or phone?  Got a paragraph you use so often that you keep it in Word to cut and paste into notes?  Fastkeys ( is my favorite new discovery to never do any of these tedious typing tasks again. 

In my chart above, you can see some of my shortcuts.  Any place I type the three letters mxs, it will replace that with my full name.  And “myadall" becomes my full mailing address.  And best of all, typing “coachrates" (up higher in the chart) becomes a four paragraph note explaining my coaching package rates − including a table and two text colors!

What’s more, you can import and export Fastkeys to an Excel spreadsheet so you can set all of it up on your main computer and then put another copy on your travel laptop without redoing all your work.  Easy to install and learn; I can’t imagine working without it now…I haven’t had to type my website out carefully for over a year!

I also put my most common misspelling corrections in there, so "occurence" becomes "occurrence" without a thought.

Sorry, it’s Windows only but good news: this article ( makes it sound like Mac has a good equivalent.

Public Speaking Tip of the Day

How you stand affects your voice and the strain you put on it.

Imagine you're talking to someone else through a flexible tube about two inches wide.  After you put your mouth on one end and she puts her ear on the other end, what's the next thing you'd do?

 Instinctively, you two would position yourself such that the tube was as straight as possible, knowing that otherwise the sound would warp as it bounced around a bent tube.  To a lesser, but still significant degree, it's the same with breathing and speaking.

Creating a straighter path of air from your lungs to the back of your mouth not only allows greater air movement for volume, but it also creates a resonance throughout your throat that helps the sound carry.

Overarching the back is as bad as slumping.  You want to imagine that if a string ran from the top of your head through your body and out from between your legs, that string would be perpendicular to the ground.

I say the back of your mouth because we also don't want to be craning the neck upward, creating tension in the throat.

So what about sitting?  It's not terrible in and of itself, but it does tend to lead to slumping a little and lowering of the chin.  Also, because sitting is more comfortable, it can lead to "sleepy voice". That's why my business phone isn't on my desk; it's on a shelf above my desk.  When it rings, it forces me to rise, uplift my energy, and have full lung power to sound clear on the call.

I also like to imagine when I'm talking from the platform that I'm talking from my legs upward rather than from my throat; this image helps me make sure I'm breathing from the bottom of my lungs rather than shallowly. 

One of the many tips in "Public Speaking: Get A's, Not Zzzzzz's!"

Or my Amazon #2 BestSeller for the next generation:

Today's Humor

It's funny 'cuz we've all been there...and not so funny 'cuz there's no end of this in sight.

I coached someone this week and this was one of the biggest changes we had to make to her presentation.  PowerPoint should never be the expert...YOU should be.

An Invitation to San Diegans

I'm excited to have one of my stories chosen as one of only seven to be read and performed in this month's VAMP (Visual Audio Monologue Performance).

This month’s theme is “Teeth”.  I'm telling a favorite story about my Grandpa Harold.  Mine is rather funny, but some of the others six are intense (and one is quite adult!)  It's going to be a great line up.

Come see some great old-fashioned storytelling, enhanced by visuals behind the writers! Only a $5 donation to this non-profit requested.

Whistle Stop Bar – 2236 Fern St. in South Park - Thurs Oct 26 at 8:30 (but get there way before that; the place gets packed…some people listen from outside!)  No reserved seating...just come!

You can bring food in; some go to the Mexican take-out across the street, get food, and eat from 7:45 on to grab a spot.  Age 21+ because it is a bar, even though it’s converted to a performance space once a month like this.

[Pictured above:  Author Jennifer Coburn reading her story at the May 2017 VAMP]

And finally, a welcome... the newest members of the eZine list from this month's improv-game teambuilding event that I ran for "Lions Tigers & Bears" in Alpine, CA.  Thanks for a fun day together, gang!

These folks operate and maintain an animal sanctuary, dedicated to providing a safe haven for unwanted and abused exotic animals and to educating the public about the abuses of the exotic-animal trade. They are a NO KILL, NO BREED sanctuary that allows the animals in their care to live out their lives with dignity in a caring and safe environment.

For more information on visiting this fantastic animal haven or supporting their 501(c)3 non-profit organization, visit .

 Lions Tigers and Bears

See?  Told you the newsletters would be light and helpful!

If I can be of service to you, just use the button here to reach my site and drop me a line!   Milo


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Copyright 2017, Milo Shapiro.

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