POP! your communication

“One sign of an excellent speech? ‘Can people repeat something they heard, word for word?'” – Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert

Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech was an instant classic.


It’s original, evocative and revealing.

Gaiman confesses that he ignored the wise advice from fellow author Stephen King to “enjoy the ride of his success.”

However, there’s an even more important reason Gaiman’s 20 minute talk has gone viral and been turned into a book which is coming out next week.

The popular author condensed his speech theme into a single sound-bite that is easy to repeat.

Make Good Art.

Think about it.

How many conventions and graduations have you attended? How many presenters and commencement speakers have you heard? Dozens? Hundreds?

Can you repeat ANYTHING they said?

If you can’t; that means they’re out of sight, out of mind. Their message had little or no enduring impact.

What’s an important message you want to share with the world?

If you want people to remember it and act on it; is YOUR responsibility to distill its essence into a repeatable sound-bite.

Successful film-makers know the importance of this.

“Show me the money.” “I’ll be back.” “You can’t handle the truth.” “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

You probably remember those movies even though it’s been YEARS since you’ve seen Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson and Roy Scheder utter those lines in the movies Jerry Maguire, the Terminator, A Few Good Men and Jaws.

Those movies are STILL top-of-mind decades after their release because their screenwriters crafted memorable lines that have legs.

In fact, check out the top movie quotes of all time. Almost ALL are 7 words or less.


What’s this mean for you?

Look over your upcoming presentation.

Does it have a resounding idea that has been distilled into a pithy 7 words or less?

Have you condensed your theme into a title or sound-bite people can repeat, word for word?

If so, good for you. You have just increased the likelihood listeners will become YOUR word-of-mouth advertisers because they will be able to remember what you said and recommend it to others.

If not, you might want to pick up a copy of POP! and study Section IV on how to be PITHY with its chapters on:

* Make Your Language Lyrical with Alliteration
* Put Your Sound-bite in a Beat to Make it Easy to Repeat
* Make it Sublime with Rhyme

This is not petty. You’re pouring hours (and lots of money?) into designing and delivering a presentation that will hopefully impact everyone in the room.

Why not invest the time and mind to POP! your message into a memorable sound-bite so people are still being positively impacted by it … years after they’re out of the room?


“Instant gratification takes too long.” – Carrie Fisher

As a communication strategist and pitch coach, I often have clients tell me, “You can’t say anything in 10 minutes.”

One client, who was pitching a room full of investors at the Paley Center in New York City, said, “Sam, there’s no way I can explain my company, team credentials, business model and exit strategy in 10 minutes.”

I said, “Kathleen, you don’t have 10 minutes. You’re going at 2:30 in the afternoon. Those investors will already have heard 15 other presenters. By that point, their eyes will be glazed over. You’ve got 60 seconds to get their eyebrows up.”

The good news is, we came up with a 60 second opening that not only got the interest and respect of that audience, it helped Kathleen Callendar of Pharma Jet land millions in funding and become selected as one of Business Week’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2010.

(The full story is in this Fast Company article on How to Gain Buy-In to your Idea in 60 Seconds or Less. http://www.fastcompany.com/1751298/how-gain-buy-your-idea-60-seconds-or-less

So, what does that have to do with Super Bowl Sunday?

USA Today editors just selected the top 25 Super Bowl ads of the past 24 years … and all of them are 60 seconds or less.

Chances are, if you’ve seen them, you remember them and remember them … fondly.

They prove you can pack a lot into 60 seconds. You can win buy-in from target decision-makers, tell a compelling story and keep your brand and message top-of-mind, years after the fact.

As journalist Laura Petrecca reports in this article the winning ad “is the 1993 Nothing But Net commercial in which Michael Jordan and Larry Bird shoot an outlandish game of H-O-R-S-E ,” trying to out-do each other to win the right to dine on a McDonald’s Big Mac.”


What’s this mean for you?

What’s a communication you’ve got coming up? A communication in which you want to win buy-in from decision-makers and customers?

Don’t waste the first 60 seconds with preliminary, perfunctory remarks. No, “I’m glad to be here ….” Or “When Bob asked me to speak …” or “Before I start, let me …”

In this day and age of instant gratification, you will already have lost the hearts and minds of your audience if you start with … INFObesity.

Instead, jump into something intriguing that gets people’s eyebrows up. It’s the single best thing you can do to make sure your pitch, presentation, commercial or communication wins buy-in for what you care about.

Are you thinking, “I agree with the importance of doing this; I just don’t know how to do it.”

Want good news? My E.Y.E.B.R.O.W. TEST system shows you how to earn the attention and respect of any audience … in 60 seconds or less.

Discover for yourself why these techniques have been won raves from clients around the world (London, Geneva, Toronto and throughout the U.S.) and have helped people receive millions in funding while helping their products, services and business break out instead of blend in.


Purchase it today to instantly have these E.Y.E.B.R.O.W. TEST tips at your fingertips … so you can have people at hello next time you want their attention and respect.

“All the wrong people have inferiority complexes.” – coffee mug slogan

I recently had the opportunity to speak for a career networking group.

They were thrilled with the “haven’t heard that before” insights shared during the program and the meeting planner asked if I’d share them in a blog so others could benefit from them.

Happy to.  Hope these help you POP! out of the pack of applicants and land the job of your dreams.

POP! Your Job Search Tip 1.

Don’t Be Shy. If You’ve Accomplished Something Special – Include It!

“There are few times in your life when it isn’t too melodramatic to say your destiny hangs on the impression you make.” – Barbara Walters

One of the most important lessons-learned shared in my What’s Holding Us Back? book is …

“Our strength taken to an extreme becomes our Achilles Heel.”

For example, kindness is a wonderful quality. But if we’re kind to people who are cruel to us; our kindness becomes a weakness that gets preyed upon.

Having a great sense of humor can be delightful. But if we always have to be the “clown” who’s the life of the party; not so good.

Are you thinking, “What’s that got to do with resumes and job search?”

Most people are way too humble when applying for a job.

Humility is a lovely trait.

But when it comes to getting hired. humility can become our Achilles Heel.

How so?

Potential employers can’t read your mind.

They don’t know how and why you’re special unless you tell them.

If you’ve accomplished something outstanding and don’t include it on your resume; you could lose out on a job you deserve and might have gotten otherwise.

It’s your responsibility to showcase specific skills that may help get your foot in their mental door.  It’s your job to mention real-life, one-of-a-kind experiences that could add value for their organization.

My son Tom is an excellent example of this.

Tom and his brother grew up in Maui, Hawaii.

We would go for walk and rolls at night in our lovely neighborhood near Keawekapu Beach. I would walk and they would ride their big wheels, bikes or skateboards. Our nightly tradition was for each of us to pluck a plumeria blossom and bring it home to place on our pillows.

Even when he was young, if you asked Tom what he wanted to be, he would point to the sky and say, “Something to do with up there.”

Little could we have known that Tom would eventually graduate from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies) with a multiple degree in Aerospace Engineering, Physics, Astronomy and Math. (Suffice it to say, I didn’t help Tom with his homework!)

Several weeks before graduating, Tom applied for a job at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  After  filling out the application, he asked me to take a look at it.

I was glad to do so – and was surprised to see Tom hadn’t mentioned that he and his college team had won an international competition to plan a Manned Mission to Mars.

I asked Tom, “Why didn’t you include that on your resume?”

Guess what he said?

“But Mom, that would be bragging.”

Arggh.    I told him, “Tom, it’s not bragging if you’ve done it.”

“Think about it. There could be hundreds of applicants for this job, all with similar degrees. Many have great GPA’s or were on the Dean’s List. So that’s nothing special to decision-makers at this point.

Think about it from their point of view. They’re looking through a stack of resumes in search of something relevant that isn’t same-old, same-old. Something that causes them to think, ‘Now that’s impressive. Or, that’s interesting. Let’s bring that person in for an interview.'”

If you have an impressive achievement few others can claim; it deserves to go on your resume.

It differentiates you from similarly-qualified candidates.  It could be a deal-maker because it gives you a competitive edge and gives potential employers a compelling reason to consider you as a high-potential.

Guess what? Tom got the interview  … and he got a job in mission control at JSC in Houston. 

Every day he gets to do what he loves most and does best. He is fulfilling his SerenDestiny (the title of my upcoming book) and getting paid to do work that puts the light on in his eyes.

He told me recently, with a sense of wonder in his voice, “Mom, working with the International Space Station is a dream come true. I do something down here . . .and it makes something happen up there.”

Hmmm … that is exactly what Tom wanted to do, all those years ago in Maui when he pointed to the sky when asked what he wanted to do when he grew up.

Who knows if Tom would have landed this ideal job if he had left off that singular achievement about the Mars mission that caught the interviewer’s eye and motivated him to fly Tom out to Houston for a site visit and interview?

So, here’s the question . . .

What’s a singular achievement you’ve accomplished that could help you stand out in a stack of resumes?

If you were Employee of the Month, that goes on your resume.

If you were the first to be certified in a specific computer training program, say so.

And, include an example of an uncommon hobby or involvement in a favorite cause/philanthropy.

If you compete in triathlons, add it to the resume.  Who knows? Maybe the interviewer is an athlete and will feel enough of a common bond to call you in.

In fact, an author client landed a big-name literary agent  by doing just this.

I advised Leslie Charles, (author of Why Is Everyone So Cranky?) to include under Credentials on her book proposal that she rode dressage.

She asked, “But Sam, that has nothing to do with my book. Why would I include that?”

I smiled and said, “Because the agent you want to work with rides dressage.”

This agent handled several best-selling authors in the non-fiction genre and wasn’t really looking for new clients. However, she and Leslie “clicked” while discussing horses and dressage and Leslie ended up working with her and getting a 6-figure deal for her book with a major publisher.

So, look over your current resume and job application.

What POP!s out? What gives it a “human” element that would give an interviewer a good reason to want to interview you?

What intriguing achievement, personal mission, heartfelt hobby, or uncommon interest could help you stand out from the crowd of candidates?

If you’d like more ways to POP! your job search, career, communication and success, check back for Part II of this series on the 3 Best Ways to POP! Your Job Search.   Or, subscribe to receive them automatically.