What Makes a Great Thank-You Note?

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

I recently received five excellent thank-you notes from high school students. Here are the qualities that made them excellent:

1. The handwriting was clear and attractive.
2. The cards themselves were of top quality and were simple.
3. Each note mentioned a specific way in which they put my tips to use.
4. They included proper greetings and words of farewell.
5. They used a proper postage stamp instead of a postage meter.

In this era of instant and abbreviated communication, a proper thank-you note has more impact than ever. Those who wish to stand out make a habit of sending thank-you notes, perhaps following an email of gratitude. Double the points!

Creating Your Brand

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

There are certain people you recognize right away. In a split second you know, “That’s Gloria So-and-So.”

And then there are the other 90% of people who make not much of an impression. You may think you’re meeting them for the very first time. 

It’s embarrassing to say, “Nice to meet you,” and to hear the other person say, “We’ve met several times.” 

My mean side wants to say, “Then do something to impress me!” My nice side says, “Oh my goodness! Please forgive me.”

If you want to be remembered, you need to “brand” yourself. Branding your image is a powerful first step.

Here are some examples:

There is an architect in town who alwayswears seersucker suits and a tie. It’s his brand. You can recognize him a million miles away.

There is a powerful woman who always wears brightly-colored professional jackets with black pants and a bold scarf slanted across her shoulder.

There is a marketing man who always wears pastel dress shirts and impeccable wool gabardine pants, seemingly straight off the ironing board. 

There is the highly-placed City and County manager who always looks rumpled and slightly dingy – yet somehow highly atttactive. 

And there’s me. “The minute I saw the hat, I knew it was you.”

That’s branding. 

Do You Believe in Magic?

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

Are you old enough to remember the song “Do You Believe in Magic?” by the Lovin’ Spoonful? And, do you believe in magic? I do. I have come to see “coincidences” as magic. Here are three examples from my world of public speaking:

  1. As I’m telling a story, I’m desperately trying to remember the name of comedian Eddie Izzard because he is central to the story. Before even describing him (in an attempt to get help from the audience), a college student says, “Do you mean Eddie Izzard?” Magic.

2. I’m talking about what a speaker should do if someone unexpectedly enters the room. Right then, someone did. Everyone roared with laughter to the enormous consternation of the newcomer. Magic. (We did explain!)

3. I break a large group into five teams and tell them to come up with a topic to demonstrate how to use questions in their speaking. EACH group chose the topic of travel! Magic.

I think magic is essential for creating a sense of wonder and awe in how we fit into the world around us. Be receptive to it and you’ll experience it. You can’t plan these things at your computer two weeks before the event!