Archive for the ‘Presentation’ Category

The Power of Your Name in Personal Branding

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Your name is the single most important factor in your enterprise, whether you introduce and represent your company by speaking your name loudly and clearly while offering a hearty handshake – or write an equally hearty introductory post on a discussion thread.

Here’s a slightly off topic tip: the back of your head or an avatar that looks like Gumby and Courtney Love had a child, not a good personal branding choice.

I counsel my clients to use their whole names, by the way. So unless you are Perez or Cher (who might be the same person since we’ve never seen them together), when you are introducing yourself or registering on a website use: Bunky McFearson. That is, if you are Bunky McFearson. So Bunky, when you’re making a new acquaintance live and in-person, you might add: “That’s McFearson with an F.”

Give them a hook – give them a visual.

You see, within seconds of making contact: you got to work in your last name mynameistwice. You might also add, “I know, I look a lot like Kenny in South Park. I figure the K in my first name: ‘B-u-n-K-y’, is our connection.”

Always add something that forces your audience (one or one thousand plus people) to spend time remembering your name. You might give an association of your name and likeness to a famous person, develop a word picture or story, or create another reason that allows you to repeat your name.

Why is this an important factor in personal branding and not simply echolalia?  Because you’re helping your audience overcome a widespread and embarrassing problem.  Almost everyone is nervous when it comes to remembering names of people they’ve just met. So, your name ritual is a personal branding tool for two reasons. One, you are making multiple impressions with your name. Two, you are perceived as ready, relaxed and helpful, perhaps even opening a window on your sense of humor. Simply put, you are relationship building.

Here’s one of my self-introductions for a networking event.

“I’m Nance Rosen. Yes, just Nance, not NanCY. When I was born, my parents were too poor to afford more than one syllable, so they left off the ‘Y’ and stuck on an ‘E.’ So, I’m not Nancy Rosen just Nance Rosen.” (Pause and Smile) Just kidding. Actually, there’s only one other Nance I know. She’s Nance Mitchell the famous Beverly Hills hairdresser. Obviously, no one would mistake us for each other (my hair is usually pinned up so I can shower and get to work in under ten minutes). Obviously, we have different businesses and priorities (Smile). I’m the executive publisher at Pegasus Media World and I speak to audiences on the topic of personal branding.”

Avoid the Vacuum

clutter

Aviod the Vacuum

I want to break you of the habit of introducing yourself into a vacuum. The first time you say your name it is swallowed up and your audience’s brain space goes vacant. You need to establish your name as a beachhead for your personal branding from now on. No, you don’t have to do a soliloquy, but you do want to say something so people can later LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and more, with you.

If they collect a pile of business cards, they will remember you when they see your name.


Do this before your next holiday gathering.

  1. Consider how you can say your name and associate it with memorable images.
  2. Create your “story” and say it 10 times before you greet your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s daughter at your family’s holiday party. Every new person you meet could be a prospect or referral source.
  3. Never stop branding.


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Personal Branding with a Punch and Some Cookies

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Typically, it’s not the best, but the one who can take the stress that makes it to the top of any company, industry or career path. It’s the person who can take a punch, get past the burn, and play injured that makes it to number one.

It’s the person who cleans and dresses their own wounds – and knows how to unwind rather than blow up – that other people trust and admire.

Soothing self-talk is way under recognized as a career and reputation management tool.cookie

While our personal brands must be distinct from the masses around us, those of us who succeed have one thing in common: we are low maintenance on other people. We appear to be self-cleaning ovens, effortlessly churning out fresh, hot and delicious chocolate chip cookies without leaving a mess. Even when we don’t have the perfect temperature, ingredients and other conditions that we wish made our missions easier – we perform reliably.

If you embrace the facts: business is not nice, people don’t play fair and cheaters often prosper, and you’re okay with that – you can save your energy for the real fight.  Guess who is your opponent?

The real fight is always with yourself, not with your circumstances or other people. The fight is to maintain your calm, measure your words and keep things in perspective.

My business partner says the toughest part of deal-making is: “getting over yourself.” Getting over the loss of “must-haves,” that turn out to be “not right now haves.” Getting over what feels like career ending injuries – like getting fired or being passed over for the ideal job. Getting over the client who breaches a contract, the boss who goes back on his word, and getting on with the real job you wind up with – which rarely looks like the job description you signed on for.

Dream big but don’t torment yourself. Goals are meant to stretch you, but not so far as to break you. We all have an internal thermostat regulating our sense of well-being, with a surprisingly small range for novelty and change in any one space of time. So, do yourself a favor, and set the next upward threshold at 2 degrees not 20 degrees higher as you make the climb in your mind, which is where success starts.

As you rise in reality, acclimate to the stress, the perqs, the people, and the altitude. The air gets thinner and it can be really hard to take that centering, cleansing breath – as you go higher and higher in your business or career. Like any great ascent, you have to see it and take it, in stages. People who manage their careers, reputations and the growth of their brands are not just self-confident.They have soothing self-talk. Most of the time, we’re thinking about the next step, not the entire mind-boggling journey.

If you are pushed or pulled over your limit, even by your own imagination, you may creatively find ways to self-sabotage.

As soon as you’ve laid down the great get, such as: “I will be the leading social media strategist or blogger or pundit or accountant or tech genius in my field,” drop in mini-goals.  You eat an elephant and an apple the same way, one bite at a time.

So survey the buffets that are spread out this season, and resolve to enjoy just enough holiday punch and cookies to satisfy you in one sitting. Your eyes may not be the best judge of what your stomach can hold down.

What other reasonable resolutions are you going to make at this time of year?

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Ten Commandments of Personal Branding – #4: Feed the Beast, Satisfy Your Audience

Monday, December 7th, 2009

repetitionPersonal brands have a message. A clear, concise, consistent, compelling and relentless message.

Just like product brands, with a twist. Perhaps a painful one, depending on how much time you have to convey your message in all the available channels. Social media, the most ubiquitous channel, is always on and demanding to be fed.

Commandment #4: Feed the Beast, Satisfy Your Audience.

When compared to product brands, the relentless part of personal brand communication is the toughest challenge. After all, if you think Coke is refreshing today: great. Think it’s refreshing tomorrow: great. Think it’s always refreshing? That’s the point of all the messaging, isn’t it? Yes.

So, repetition of the same message really works to hammer in some of the world’s most beloved slogans. Slogans like “from the land of sky blue waters,” and “where’s the beef,” or icons like the clown from one burger chain or the king from the other, do their job (or did it) by appearing over and over again.

You, alas, are not a beer or a burger. You are, hopefully, not a clown and unfortunately, not a king.

You have to be clear, concise, consistent, compelling and relentless – in a different way. You know this. That’s why – unless you work at a burger place and wear the uniform – you choose to wear different clothes everyday. You probably have changed the way you wear your hair a few times. And, unless you are as annoying as Joan Rivers, you probably don’t have a saying like “Can we talk?” to end nearly every sentence.

You do have to produce content that represents how you think, what value you bring to your tribe and what potential you have to be an even greater influence (or better paid employee, consultant or thought-leader).

To produce content, you must consume it - Be the content monster.

To produce content, you must consume it - Be the content monster.

To produce content, you must consume it. All great writers are great readers. In fact, one of the easiest ways for you to feed the beast, is to read books (okay, sample chapters from ebooks) and leave comments on places like Amazon and B&N.com. You can also consume content from your industry sites, forums, and blogs to not only leave a comment, but also link on your Twitter and Facebook updates. Just keep in mind, you are known by the company you keep and the links you leave.

Of course, your own blog may be the biggest beast of all, and thus the best and most fearsome beast – because it needs to be fed regularly. Your blog is your opportunity to provide your tribe with original, signature, and most importantly: clear, concise, consistent, compelling and relentless messages.

If you appreciate your audience and feel responsible for satisfying its appetite, you will be conscientious about quality and quantity of what you serve. Everyone is hungry for nourishing words.

What do you have to say about that?

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Do-It-Together Club for Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Nance Rosen’s October 27, 2009 keynote to the United Chambers of Commerce on Personal Branding: How to Build Your Reputation & Gain Visibility for Your Organization. Nance spoke on increasing company value, developing new relationships to increase revenue, and the new Do-It-Together Club for Entrepreneurs.

Personal Branding: How to Build Your Reputation & Gain Visibility for Your Organization from PegasusMediaWorld on Vimeo.

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You Are a Global Brand

Monday, October 12th, 2009

You are a Global Personal Brand from PegasusMediaWorld on Vimeo.

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