Too Old for Facebook?

I just read a fun article by Jill Rosen from the Baltimore Sun.  She posed this question and then wrote about her 6 1/2 reasons why not.  Click here –,0,294713.story

Here are a few business ones of my own…

  1. You can post your You Tube videos (even longer than 2 minutes) on your site.  An excellent way to get free exposure to whatever it is you are promoting.  I have several business associates linked as friends.  They see whenever I add something new.
  2. You have another place to be found.  If people want to use it as a modern day phone book, hey at least you’re there!
  3. You may be able to find and gain personal information on prospects and clients.  No, I’m not talking about dirt!  I’m talking about photos and other items that you can use to build your relationship.

On a personal note, I’ve found several high school pals, re-connected with two former Rotary Exchange Students, and can keep up with my daughter who is going to school in Austria for 4 months.

Regardless of your age, you can take advantage of these and more benefits of Facebook…for FREE.  I like that price.  Have fun.

The Need to Read

Marley and MeI was reading one of Alan Weiss’ blogs this weekend and he was discussing several books he has recently read.  It occurred to me that one of my goals for the year was to be a more consistent reader of all types of books.  So far, I’m falling behind…

SO – I’m making a mid-year goal to get back on the bandwagon.  Reading is essential to education and promoting a well-rounded, holistic individual.  I need to make that a bigger commitment in my life.  I’ve added a category to this blog to write about books I am reading (or have read).  You are invited and encouraged to join i the fun and post about what you are reading.

I’m going to start with a book I finished last month.  I was at the airport waiting to catch a flight to Boise, ID for a golf weekend.  I needed a light, humorous read so i picked up Marley and Meby John Grogan.  It hit the spot.  This isn’t a self-help or deep book by any means.  It does make you laugh, though.  And, it points out some life lessons that being part of a family brings.  I highly recommend it for everyone.  If you are a dog owner, it’s a must-read.

The next book I’m going to tackle is a business book on marketing titled Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.  Look for my “book report” later…promise!


My oldest daughter Mindy is leaving for Austria in about 10 hours.  It’s hard for me to fathom that she will be almost halfway around the world from us for the next 4 months.  She is spending Fall semester there in a study-abroad program with her school at Franciscan University.  It’s a great opportunity and I’m excited for her.  If you are a parent, you also know the hurt that comes from sending her away.  Bittersweet is the appropriate word.

She created a blog that I will follow.  In addition, thanks to Skype, we will be able to talk to each other for free on the computer.  It’s going to be tough putting her on that plane.  I can’t wait to get her first postcard.

That’s bittersweet!


Warming up…

Last Saturday night, I was Master of Ceremonies for my town’s Centennial Celebration.  Part of my role was to introduce two bands.  It’s interesting what happens “backstage”…

The lead singer, wearing a New York Nets Julius Erving throwback jersey arrived a little late and the band had chosen the order of songs.  Dr. J went off when he found out what he had to sing first.

“No way…(expletives deleted) are we starting with that.  My voice ain’t warmed up yet.  We have to start with something else.  Uh uh. My voice isn’t ready!”  They started with a different set of songs.

Granted, Dr. J was to blame for being late but not for being smart.  He knew he had to protect his voice and give the audience the best show possible.  What about you?

Regardless of what kind of speaking presentation you are giving – to a large group or just a sales call – make sure your voice is warmed up.  You will accomplish two things…

1 – Protect your voice from being strained;

2 – Give your “audience” the best possible show

Take a cue from my friend Dr. J…make sure you warm up before speaking.


First Impressions

On Friday, I went with two fellow Rotary Club members to pick up our incoming exchange student from Switzerland. You never know exactly what you’re going to get with a student any given year. Barb and I have hosted four of them, each with completely different personalities and temperament. When you are hosting a kid for a year, either as a host parent or as a Rotary Club, you always hold your breath a little at the beginning hoping to get a fun one.

We knew right away that our student this year is going to be a hit. Mike came bounding in with a huge smile, great energy, and much conversation. When you consider he just made it through 11 hours of flying and one hour of customs, you can consider him the Michael Phelps of exchange students!

Mike made a GREAT first impression on us. Certainly, there is a full year to go but at first glance, we have a winner.

What does your audience and prospects think of you at first sight? Do they see the same charm that Mike gave us? Or, do they see a very serious, monotone, stuffy, and unwelcoming figure?

The old saying is that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That is a truism in business as well as life. Business is about relationships. Presenting yourself is about connecting emotionally and intellectually with your audience, regardless of the size.

Take a cue from my new pal Mike from Switzerland. Make your first impression be of energy, smiles, and sincerity. That’s one first impression that will be sure to last.

What Do You Let Get in the Way?

If you’re like me, you are captivated by the talent, strength, and character of US swimmer Michael Phelps.  This young man is not only the most accomplished Olympian ever when it comes to collecting gold medals, he has already set himself up as being a success in his business life even if he didn’t have all the endorsements coming his way.  Why?

One reason is his ability to not let unforeseen events get in the way of his performance and reaching his goal.  Last night in the 200m Butterfly final where he won his 10th gold medal, you may have seen him witha look of almost disgust instead of jubilation.  Afterwards, he said that for the last 100 m of the race, he couldn’t see out of his goggles because his goggles got filled up with water.  He wasn’t disgusted with the gold (duh) but with the goggles.  Phelps has proven the ability to perform under any condition and that has made him a champion among champions.  What about you?

Many times, we blame circumstance or conditions for our inability to succeed.  I’ve done it in the past.  It’s an easy blame.  When I was coaching high school basketball, I came across a theme that I came to embrace and pass on to my players.  It was the concept that  “anytime, anyplace, under any condition…I’m ready to play.”  Under any condition.  Even malfuntioning goggles that fill your face with water when you are trying to run the table with gold.

Think about this concept and Michael Phelps the next time something out of your control happens…

  • The microphone doesn’t work
  • The stage is too small
  • You forgot your prop
  • Your time to present your product is cut short on time
  • You spilled ketchup on your suit

Whatever it is, something always happens.  Don’t let it affect your performance.  Focus on your message and the value it gives your audience.  Be a champion.


P.S.  I’m having trouble with my Outlook and can’t get in – let’s call it my goggle malfunction.  That’s where I’ve parked my URL for my signature.  In other words, I can’t get it so your stuck with just my name. Nothing fancy.  I hope I persevered and gave you value in this post.

New Testimonials

I had a great day with the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce folks.  We had about 20 staff members from every department in the organization take part in a half-day Panic to Power session for business.  This is a program you can bring into your business to transform the way your employees present and communicate to your clients, prospects, and themselves.  But, don’t just take my word for it.  Listen to two happy Chamber execs…





Where Do You Get Stories?

Last Tuesday, I held a Panic to Power Boot Camp in Seattle. It was a great camp with fantastic participants.

One of the topics we spent a great time discussing was the use of stories in business presentations. If you’re like me, you get much more out of listening to a story that relates to a solution than just having it told or narrated to you. It has more “stick” in your brain.

Ironically, I had a story from early that morning preparing to go to the Boot Camp that I was able to use as an example. It has definitely become a permanent part of my story file. Below, you will find a video blog from my insurance consulting channel. The story I just mentioned will be given in this blog. You are being given this video to show you how a very personal story can be used as a metaphor for a business solution. In this case, a story about my dog Captain Jack will help my insurance clients learn about the risk management issue of “close calls”. For you, it’s an example of how a personal story will be effective in your business presentations.

Where do you get your stories?


P.S. Want to learn how to transform one of your personal stories into a “can’t miss” winner for your next presentation? Register now for my Storytelling Boot Camp next month. Space is limited so get on board today. You bring one story and we will transform it into a winner! Click here to register or learn more…