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...]

3D Franchise Communications

I think we often fail to recognize the inherent complexity of business format franchising. Franchising is a unique model. I can’t think of any other business where a single brand simultaneously … [Read more...]

Delivering the Dream

The Role of Emotional Motivation in Franchise Development The Franchising Dream In the Franchising Dream, we have a great story to tell. It’s the goal that brought us all into this … [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...]

Tech Tip: Using PowerPoint on the Big Stage

Here’s the picture: You’re speaking at an event that will put you on the big stage. You’ve decided to use PowerPoint (or Keynote) to support your presentation. You’ve put in hours on your graphics… … [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...]

Lessons from Showbiz: Be Yourself

“Be yourself. Unapologetically.” —Ke$ha   During my 20s and 30s, I had the privilege of backing up some legendary showbusiness personalities. Across the spectrum of performers… from Tony … [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...]