“Remember, you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else is.” – Andy Rooney

Hmmm …

Well, if Andy was right, we better take responsibility for making ourselves more interesting so people want to hear what we have to say.

I host a monthly That’s Intriguing Interview Series that features guest experts from around the world (i.e., Betsy Myers who was COO of Obama’s grassroots presidential campaign and Michael Gelb, International Brain of the Year and author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci).

People often tell me our tele-seminars are the ONLY ones they listen to from start to finish.

Several clients asked me to “share my secret;” so here’s the document we send our guest experts to prep them to be so intriguing … listeners are on the edge of their seats, eager to hear what’s next.

You’re welcome to use these guidelines when you are the one being interviewed or when you’re the one hosting the intervivew/panel.

These suggestions help everyone hold themselves accountable for sharing real-life insights and examples that get people’s eyebrows up and motivate them to want to hear more.

Hello ­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________:

Thanks for agreeing to be a guest expert for our That’s Intriguing Interview Series on _________, 2012.

We are looking forward to you sharing your back-story and best-practice tips with our audience.

We feel a real obligation to live up to our name – so here are some guidelines that can help us produce an engaging, insightful, productive interview that adds value for all involved.

1. Our tele-seminar starts promptly at 8 pm ET (5 pm West Coast Time).

5 minutes before our call … at 7:55 pm ET …please call our bridge line _____. Then enter our code ____.

2. We put everyone on the call (except YOU) on mute and don’t take questions during the call so background noise doesn’t undermine the quality of our recording.

We do invite people to submit questions in advance. I may give a shout out to several people on the call to add variety to our interview. For example, “Lisa from St. Louis has asked . . .”

3. Our goal is to make this interview as unpredictable as possible. Some guidelines to help make that happen are:

* Please keep answers short – 2 minutes or less.

If you have a long explanationto give, it’s better to break it up with a question back to me, such as,”There’s more to that story. Do you want to hear it, or is it time for us to move on?”

* Give a real-life example to illustrate each point which makes information infinitely more intriguing.

When making a point, you might want to use the 2 magic words, “For example …” and then verbally re-live the scene where this happened to SHOW us what you mean so we’re seeing what you’re saying.

* Humor is always wonderful and welcome.

If you have amusing, laugh-out-loud anecdotes or quotes to share that are “on topic,” by all means, share them. As you know, relevant humor makes this more fun and enjoyable for everyone involved.

* Victor Hugo said,”The secret to being a bore is to tell everything.”

Please cherry-pick the MOST surprising or startling things that have happened along the way. We don’t need soup-to-nuts explanations of all your lessons-learned. It’s far more interesting for you to focus on the ONE INSIGHT that was most pivotal, most transformative so we can hear a “best of the best” of your expertise or experience.

* This is not about self-promotion.

In the last 5 minutes, we focus on an exciting project you’ve got coming up you’d like listeners to know about. This could be a new book, public event, coaching series, conference, startup, product launch, etc.

You are welcome to describe this and give your website, blog or social media contacts so listeners can find more information, register, buy a product or service, support your cause, hire you, etc.

4. You are welcome to send questions in advance you’d like to be asked. WE love receiving questions that helps us showcase your work or this topic in a way that does it justice and reveals behind-the-scenes, recent, “wouldn’t have known that” insights.

5. I normally ask questions in a chronological sequence – starting with your early career and taking listeners through the evolutionary unfolding of your work – the epiphanies you’ve had along the way and the insights you’d like to pass along.

Remember what Elmore Leonard said when asked why his books are bestsellers, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”

Ask yourself, “Is this obvious? A cliche or common sense? Do people already know it?” If so, SKIP IT.

6. Our audience is usually an eclectic mix of executives, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, non-profit leaders, consultants and creative professionals from around the country. We may have up to 100 people on the LIVE call; hundreds or thousands may listen to the recording in the years ahead.

7. We market your interview to our database of 15,000+ through our newsletter, on our website calendar and to our extensive online network via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

You are welcome to promote this to your tribe and invite people who would enjoy and benefit from your expertise and experiences. You are welcome to get the description of your program and registration links from our website calendar at http://www.samhorn.com/speaking/calendar/index.html

8. We will record the interview -and send you the MP3 within 3 days of the tele-seminar.

As part of our agreement, you are welcome to use that however you’d like – whether that’s selling it as a CD or MP3, excerpting it in podcasts on your website, or using as an audio demo for media.

We are so glad you carved time out of your busy schedule to be on our That’s Intriguing Interview Series.

We look forward to a win-win, rock and roll interview that showcases your contributions and delivers real-life recommendations people can use immediately. We know everyone will appreciate your fascinating examples of how you’ve built a SerenDestiny career where the light is on in your eyes and you’re doing meaningful legacy work that is serving all involved.

These guidelines on “How to Give a Great Interview” are from Sam Horn, author of POP! and the upcoming Eyebrow Test and SerenDestiny. The founder of The Intrigue Agency, Sam and her team celebrate intriguing ideas, individuals, events and organizations … and help clients create more compelling communications.  Her work has been featured on NPR, MSNBC, BusinessWeek.com, New York Times. www.IntriguingAgency.com

Sam Horn’s POP! book

The votes are in. We have our winners.

Here are the most intriguing business names, book titles and NURDS (New Words) for 2011  as submitted by our POP! and Intrigue Agency tribe.

Thanks for your nominations and votes.

The purpose of the POP! Hall of Fame is to showcase
and celebrate the power of creative messaging.

You can have a fantastic product, service, idea or organization –
but if it doesn’t have an interesting name that gets your target
customers’ eyebrows up – it may never see the light of day.

So, here’s to our winners for understanding that POP!ing out of your pack is the first step to catapulting viability, visibility and profitability.

1. A.W Shuck’s: If you’re walking the streets of Charleston, SC, wondering where to eat, this clever name for a seafood-raw oyster restaurant just might elicit a smile and motivate you to walk in their door and give them your dining dollars.

http://a-w-shucks.com/

2. Merry-Okee: How do you expand the multi-million dollar Elf on a Shelf brand? By introducing a Karaoke sing-along book with mike for Christmas.

http://www.amazon.com/Hallmark-Merry-Okee-With-Songbook/dp/B005PZGATA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325532770&sr=8-1

3. YOUmanity: Want to warm up a “cold” corporation? Follow Aviva’s example and launch a mission to “bring humanity back to insurance and put people before policies.” Then, set up an interactive chain of kindness and honor participants with awards and media attention.

http://www.avivausa.com/portal/site/avivausa/content/home/youmanity

4. Masstige: This Half-and-Half Word (a POP! technique for creating a first-of-its-kind phrase by combining two aspects of your idea – i.e., Diabesity) is a new term for merging mass market retail with prestige appeal – such as Mossimo at Target which has made this discount retailer hip and generated millions in revenue.

http://www.target.com/s/p/Mossimo+Supply+Co+Owl+Animal+Hat+Brown/+/A+13592371

5. There Is No Dog: The shelves are groaning with dog books. So, how do you get your book to break out instead of blend in? Use a POP! technique called Don’t Repeat Cliche’s – Re-arrange Cliches to make sure your book stands out from the crowd instead of getting lost in the crowd.

http://www.amazon.com/There-No-Dog-Meg-Rosoff/dp/0399257640/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325523388&sr=1-1

6. CanWich: I can always count on Dave Barry’s Annual Gift Guide for a POP! Hall of Famer. Previous winners have been Daddle (a strap-on saddle so toddlers can take a horsy-back ride on their dad without falling off) and Smittens (co-joined mittens so lovers can walk in the snow and keep their fingers warm.)

What’s a Canwich? Half can, half sandwich so those messy peanut-butter jelly sandwiches are portable. http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/04/2529844/candwich-sandwich-in-a-can.html

7. Mashable’s Top 10 Funniest Auto-Correct Text Mistakes:

Trust me – if you don’t laugh out loud at the “OOOPS” texts on this list, check for a pulse.

http://mashable.com/2011/12/05/damn-you-auto-correct-funniest-text/#view_as_one_page-gallery_box3339

And if you’re an entrepreneur, author, speaker, business owner, non-profit leader or management/marketing consultant and don’t have your own annual Top 10 list, why not??)

8. Tweet Seats: Had a chance to keynote the National Arts Marketing Project convention – and all the buzz was about venue owners finally realizing that providing seats in the back of the theater for people who want to Tweet about the play, concert or dance production they’re experiencing is a “rising tide raising all boats” opportunity to scale their virtual audience and promote their productions … for free.

http://artsmarketing.org/conference/announcement/2011/live-namp-conference

9. TIEcoon.  What else would you call a shop that sells mens neckties in NYC’s Penn Station …traveling mecca of stockbrokers, Wall Street types and corporate suits? 

10. Zmug: The always brilliant Monica Hesse of The Washington Post reported about the Zumba craze and the “smug, golden glow look the 12 million Zumba fans are often infused with.” So, what did she do? She crafted a clever headline and NURD (New Word) that helped her article POP! off the page.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/zumbad-a-fitness-craze-can-lead-quickly-to-the-er/2011/12/02/gIQA1vmUdO_story.html

Want your product, service, idea or organization to POP! out of its pack?

First, it’s got to pass The Eybrow Test® (my next book – available next month.)

Does its title, name, headline or description get people’s eyebrows up in the first 60 seconds?

If so, good for you. That means it broke through their preoccupation and intrigued them enough for them to give you their valuable mind and time.

What do you care about?

If you want other people to care about it; give it a first-of-its-kind phrase or compelling, 60 second-or-less description to increase its likelihood of success.

What are your favorite POP! brands, business names, book titles and NURDS?

Submit examples of creative messages that pass The E.Y.E.B.R.O.W. Test® – and they just may get featured in one of our upcoming That’s Intriguing blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets or next year’s POP! Hall of Fame.