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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!

Who’s in Your Room?

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

My former mentor, Stewart Emery, just published his latest book, Who’s in Your Room? The premise is that the quality of your life depends on who you allow into your “room.”

As a guest speaker at a company retreat, a college classroom, or a Rotary Club meeting, you will not have the ability to control who enters the room. The cast of characters may include: the know-it-all, the rummager, the device-addict, the nay-sayer, and a bunch of extras who just sit there.

You need a toolbox for managing these behaviors. Some tools, such as “Move toward the distraction,” will be used frequentlyperhaps every time you speak. I have a tool named “Halt!” which I’ve used only once, but I keep it in the toolbox just in case. (I used this tool when I noticed too many people leaving the auditorium in the middle of my talk. I wanted to stop them and find out why they were leaving. So I blocked the door, spread my arms and legs wide, and loudly said, “Halt! Why are people leaving? Someone help me out.” It turns out several had to attend a mandatory training session I hadn’t been told about. I held the door open for those people.)

Sometimes the people in your room want to be there. Sometimes they don’t. The quality of your life will be improved if you make space for everyone who ends up in your room. When viewed through the correct lens, even a heckler can provide golden opportunities. Who’s in your room?