Lessons from Showbiz: Each Role is Essential

When the curtain comes down, the star of the show may take the bows, but every successful performance is the result of the coordinated, collective effort of (often) dozens of people in a wide range of … [Read more...]

On Creativity: Just Say “No” to the New Clichés

  “Give me your tired, your poor, 
your hackneyed phrases yearning to breathe free.” We’ve heard them all. Many of us have used at least one of them on occasion. (Truth time—embarrassingly—me … [Read more...]

Lessons from Showbiz: Patrick Stewart and the Fine Art of Selling

Sometimes, epiphanies come from unlikely places. I was reading the current issue of Esquire and spotted an interview with Patrick Stewart. Though I’m neither a Trekkie nor a huge fan of his pop … [Read more...]

Creative Thinking: Simple Isn’t

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace: making the complicated simple—awesomely simple—that’s creativity.” — Charles Mingus When it comes to communicating your idea to your audience, nothing … [Read more...]

Lessons from Showbiz: Every Performance Matters

From 2002-2005, one performer in Las Vegas was voted the top entertainer every year. His name was Danny Gans. As a pro baseball player for the Chicago White Sox, Danny picked up a small role in … [Read more...]

Creative Thinking—Part 3: Find the Truth

We started with a deep dive. Asking questions. Digging deeper– more questions. Mining the client’s mind… as well as that of the target. Charting objectives. Collecting data—be it anecdote, opinion or … [Read more...]

Meeting Matters: Set Objectives

In many cases, the annual meeting is an organization’s largest annual spend on group communications. Whether it’s a sales meeting, a franchise convention, a company conference or an association event; … [Read more...]

More for Your Money: The 3-Rs Test

I don’t know any company that isn’t looking for ways to either cut costs or maximize their return from the dollars, euros, pounds sterling and/or yen they spend on their annual meeting. For those … [Read more...]

On Presenting: Put the Audience First

Fade up on comedian Jerry Seinfeld, on stage at a posh theater. We pick him up mid-monologue as he remarks with perfect comic timing… "…so I got off the elevator, cut in line and said; ‘what is … [Read more...]

Creative Thinking—Part 2: Study the Assignment

In Part 1 of the Creative Thinking series, I offered an overview of the creative process.This week, let’s take a deeper dive into step one: Study the Assignment. I always start by getting deep into … [Read more...]

Creative Thinking—Part 1: Lightning Strikes & Big Ideas

“Never hope more than you work.” —Author Rita Mae Brown Creativity, in my experience, comes from two places: Lightning strikes and relentless, focused effort. And while lightning strikes are fun … [Read more...]

On Presenting: Make Your Message Matter

If you’re tapped to speak at a meeting or convention, here are a few things to consider as you plan your presentation: Tell stories. People have communicated using stories since the dawn of spoken … [Read more...]

The Measure of Success

If you're a senior sales executive thinking about your next annual meeting, take a cue from consumer goods marketers. Survey your market BEFORE launching that big campaign. Not only can you better … [Read more...]

Taming Your Maverick Network

Check-Out Time Orlando, Florida — Sunday morning, 9:00am I’ve just wrapped a highly-successful sales meeting the night before. (Actually, it was well into the morning hours before my team and I … [Read more...]

Meetings Matter

1774: The first Continental Congress 1865: Summit at Appomattox Courthouse 1894: The modern Olympic Games established 1945: Yalta Conference 1963: Martin Luther King’s march on … [Read more...]