Tuesday, September 26, 2006

BUSINESS SAVVY--The 30-Second Resume

Recently I was invited to lunch with a networking club called LeTip (they're mostly an East Coast/West Coast organization, but you can find the nearest chapter HERE.) One of the things the new members (and guests like me) were required to do was take 30 seconds to talk about themselves and--hopefully--share something interesting about themselves.

For me it was easy. After all, I'm a professional speaker. But for the other people put on the spot, it was sheer torture.

You may have heard salespeople talk about their "elevator speech," a short and intriguing personal introduction that gives just enough information about what they do that hooks the listener into asking for more. (I use a variation on this called my "kitchen speech" that I use at parties.)

Here's an example: "So....what do you do?"
"I'm a paid assassin."
"Yes--business leaders hire me to knock off inefficiency and low morale at work!"

Come up with your own 30-second resume...something so unique that people will be begging to know more about you (and more importantly, how to buy what you're selling!)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I watched the pilot episode of the new ABC comedy "Men In Trees"...cute! It stars Anne Heche as a successful relationship coach on her way to a speaking engagement in a tiny Alaskan town swarming with men. Lots of funny stuff and some really good acting--but one thing stood out.

Anne Heche is a world-class speaker.

The show opened up with a series of clips from her presentations and Heche was obviously coached by somebody who really knows the speaking profession. (Here's how realistic Anne Heche was last night...I wanted to hear more. I was actually disappointed that they didn't let her finish!)

What really struck was the look in her eyes. She was glowing, confident, sparkling--the woman was en fuego! The pilot light was on and it was blazing. She reminded me of legendary women speakers like Patricia Fripp who find their fire, the thing they're passionate about, and deliver that passion with style and substance.

It's my job to train people to find that same fire when they speak. Check out my website at MARKtalks.com for more information.

Monday, September 11, 2006

MEDIA MATTERS--How To Be Monday Morning Quarterback On The Weekend

Let me be completely transparent here...I'm a HUGE Ohio State Buckeyes fan, so the big win over Texas ("Bevo--the Other White Meat!") Saturday was thrilling. So forgive me for indulging in a little post-game revelry.

As impressive as Ohio State QB Troy Smith was on the field, he really stood out in a quick sideline interview after the game that was a perfect example of how to play defense when talking to the media.

The ABC reporter asked Smith about his last-second decision to throw deep to his #1 wide receiver in one-on-one coverage--here's where Smith gets a broadcast Heisman. He said, "Well, Coach Tressel had a great game plan, and I really appreciate the confidence he has in me and my teammates...but the credit should go to my offensive line, they gave me plenty of time out there today."

A less savvy guy would have given away his team's strategy. The Buckeye QB deflected the question by sticking to his script and avoiding a slip of the tongue. Somebody in Columbus made sure this young man was well coached on and off the field.

The lesson? Don't be baited by the media into blurting out a spontaneous response when a measured, consistent message will protect your interests. Make sure you control the interview and you'll score a touchdown every time.