Election Won on Personality & Promise!


Standing Out on its own isn’t enough!

I write about standing out from the crowd a lot.

Nigel Farage stood out. Ed Milliband stood out. Nick Clegg stood out, but for ALL the wrong reasons.

For all three, the things they stood out for were wrong: or rather, what they stood for didn’t get them enough votes to be elected.

If we want to win as speakers, we could do worse than to learn from the politicians.

Perhaps the most important question of all


Perhaps the most important question of all for establishing the foundation of your personal brand is this: “How are people changed as a result of interacting with you, your product or service?”

In my experience – some thirty years in branding, promoting and directing people in performance – a brand is ‘every experience’ that the consumer is impacted by at the point they consume (not buy, but consume) your ‘thing’, whatever it happens to be.

Do you have a ‘language of impact’?

Are you delivering ‘wow’ moments that provoke, excite or change thinking?

These are the ultimate factors that matter, unless, of course, you want to stay under the radar and limit the difference you make and the value you deliver!

Brand or Bland


Marketing Stand OutMost people think that branding is something you create overnight and the next day, everyone sees you or your business as this SHINY entity, KNOWN for what you do, ADMIRED for who you are and what you (or your company) has achieved, and CLEAR on what to expect when they consume your product or service. They know instantly that you’re the cheapest, or the most comfortable, or the fastest, or some other ‘comparative’.

And it’s true that we are compared with others in the market place: but THAT COMPLETELY MISSES THE POINT.

As Jerry Garcia, of the Grateful Dead, once said (and I paraphrase), ‘It’s no longer good enough to be the best at what you do, you have to be THE ONLY ONE who does what you do’.

But even that conceals the real truth, which is: 1) We ARE the only one who does what we do IN THE WAY WE DO IT, 2) When no one knows us and what we do, EVEN if we are brand-worthy, the brand means nothing and achieves nothing.

So a Brand without Exposure over Time (and that includes lots of consumption) will never amount to much.

Why a Good Speaker Bio Won’t Get You any Gigs


There are speakers … and then there are speakers … and that’s the point!

Ten a penny! Everyone’s at it – speaking that is!

Gone are the days when the only people speaking were … yes, you’ve guessed it … professional speakers!

Which means: There’s Competition – Lots of It – and in order to Get Gigs, the way you market yourself, and the way you come across can no longer be just … Good.

  • Good is the new Poor
  • Really Good is the new Average
  • Great is the new ‘This person might be worth considering’

Truth is, you’ve got to Look, Sound & Be Great; Outstanding; Awesome; Exceptional; Unique, or whatever the current hyped-up vernacular is.

What follows is a check-list against which you can judge just how Great you need to look on your speaker bio. (more…)

Stop Making Zero Impact Once & for All!


hookI’ve just been asked how you define a ‘hook’.

My answer is simple: it’s the thing that you walk down the street singing, it’s the tune you can’t get out of your head because it’s really catchy.

Now, I know this is metaphorical, and that’s because we all get ‘hooked’ in different ways by different things, and you might not see the link between a song hook and a business hook.

But if you’re in business, the first thing you want is for people to remember you or your business by a strong ‘title’ or ‘label’.

A great example I came across recently – I still can’t get this one out of my mind and that might not be the case for you – is, we had this lovely young lady on our radio show, and she’s known as “Bird on a Bike” – brilliant.

You’re not going to forget that in a hurry, are you?

At first, I had no idea what she did or what her name was – but that didn’t matter. The point is that she had managed to ‘hook’ me and I wasn’t about to forget her. Even after I met her, I couldn’t remember her name, but again that didn’t matter, because if I wanted to find out her name, I would ask someone. I asked my wife who reminded me that “Bird on a Bike” was Sarah Pringle.

But what does “Bird on a Bike” do? Again, because I was sufficiently interested to find out, I asked. She does personal training, fitness, health and all that malarky!! (My word). Anyway, bottom line is, IF you can come up with something that sticks like “Bird on a Bike” does, it’s got to be helpful in promoting you and/or your business.

Have an insane day. QJ.

The Birth of an Orchestra – Part One


Talking Shop was about eleven years old by now, but I was bored.

When we started the business, it had been all about radio. We made jingles and radio commercials. It was exciting. We were piggy-backing on the launch of Kent’s first-ever commercial radio station, Invicta Sound.

They needed advertising clients; we needed to restructure the business because the bottom had fallen out of the recording studio market we’d been in, and this looked like an opportunity not to be missed. It was.

But like I say, that was eleven years earlier and since those heady, wonderfully creative days of radio, the business was now very corporate. Still creative, with our amazing team of writers, actors and studio geniuses, but nevertheless it lacked the one element that had and has always been closest to my heart – music.

So, it came as no surprise to Chris, my then business partner, that I wanted to leave the business and start a professional symphony orchestra. (more…)

“Auditions” Are the Best Way to Hire

Maybe in a couple of years!

Maybe in a couple of years!

One of the most joyful experiences of my entire life occurred when I was creating my own professional symphony orchestra.

Prior to the City of Canterbury Symphony Orchestra’s launch in 1997, I had to ‘recruit’ one or two players.

80 – to be more precise – was the number of world-class, orchestral musicians I needed to find and hire for my orchestra.

I will only hire people who I know can deliver, so I knew that the process wasn’t going to be easy.

Well, as it turned out, how wrong could I be? (more…)

3 Hot Body Language Tips that Make You More Persuasive!

Getting liked is easy when you know how

Getting liked is easy when you know how

The position you take in the room:

The posture you adopt as you speak:

The expression you put on your face: these 3 hot body language tips will change how other people feel about you, often resulting in greater connection, more likeability, and more success in business.

And if you want people to connect with you, buy into you as a person, and buy from you, then these three tips will improve on what you’re currently achieving.

So let’s get straight into it. (more…)

Do you have any idea just how much your list is worth?


Make Money OnlineMarketing has changed forever. It will never, ever be the same again. 

If you pay attention to people banging on about all the same old stuff from the 20th Century, then you’re going to be led up the garden path.

Truth is, people like Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki have their fingers right on the pulse.

Joint Ventures, Relational Marketing, Tribes, Fans: these are all the buzzwords of the new marketing arena. They are also where ALL the money is!

From the title of this blog, for ‘list’, also read ‘community’, ‘tribe’, ‘fans’ etc.

Because the Truth is (more…)

What can Bob Geldof teach us about Business?


GeldofRecently, I caught a glimpse of Geldof guesting on Top Gear, the massively successful TV show hosted by Jeremy Clarkson.

Clarkson asked Geldof why he did so many things in his life.

Geldof’s answer surprised me. He said, ‘The thing that I really love is the music’!

Now I don’t know about you, but even though I think the Boomtown Rats were okay, there’s nothing in this world to compare with Sir Bob’s achievement with Live Aid.

Which rather begs the question, (more…)

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