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Someone’s got to speak up…

As someone who mentors others on how to be memorable for the RIGHT reasons, I’m going to speak up on 2 touchy topics because you don’t want to be one of those who are remembered for the wrong reasons.

Touchy topic #1 – Talking while other people are presenting. I see this happen all too often during business meetings, networking events and even at conferences. It is NEVER OKAY to have a full-fledged conversation in “whisper” mode while someone else is presenting. Period. Either write notes or text but don’t talk. It is SO distracting and flat out disrespectful. You don’t want to be remembered as that person who talked the entire time, do you?

Preventative measure: just don’t do it. DO NOT DO IT. And if you are doing it and someone has the guts to ask you to not talk, please don’t scowl or talk poorly about them. Be a professional and accept that you were being so loud that someone had to say something. It’s not personal.

Touchy topic #2 – This has to be the most uncomfortable thing possible for me to discuss… And that is bad breath. I bet you can think of at least 2 situations recently where you encountered dragon breath. Can you remember the person’s name? What about where you were? I can think of at least FOUR situations over the last 2 months where I had to speak with someone with horrendous breath… This can greatly affect your reputation! I’ve seen 3 of those 4 people since the first incident, 2 of them have chronic bad breath, and now I somewhat avoid them..

Preventative measure: always have gum or mints with you and make sure that YOU are proactive in preventing it. This is VERY important when networking!!!

If you are coffee drinker or a smoker, this ESPECIALLY applies to you.

What are some touchy situations that you’ve had to deal with? Have you ever had to address the above issues with someone? How did you do it and how did it go over?


The big take-aways of 6 conferences in 4 weeks (New Media Atlanta, Izeafest, Maui Mastermind, Cool Twitter conference, Powerpoint Live + Blogworld)

Based on popular request, I’ve compiled a summary of highlights of what I’ve learned from 6 conferences among 3 states in less than 4 weeks. Each one of these topics will be an expanded blog post however I’ve received many inquiries for this information so this is a very quick and dirty summary of upcoming posts.

1 New Media Atlanta – #hashtags on Twitter turn conversations into community. Don’t use social media to only say “look at me” but to say “look at them”. Speakers included Nicole and Reggie Nikolay, Chris Brogan and Jeff Turner. Organized by Matt Fagioli and Brad Nix. Became friends with fellow Floridian in Atlanta, Chrisy Annis, who ended up also attending Izeafest.

2 Izeafest, Orlando – It’s important to make your own game! Figure out a niche and pursue it relentlessly. Stand apart and be different. Dynamic speakers included Ted Murphy, Liz Strauss, Chris Brogan, Aaron Brazell.

3 Maui Mastermind Bootcamp – establish and be committed to a virtual mastermind group of respected peers to help you achieve your goals and communicate goals and obstacles regularly. In addition, delegate, delegate, delegate. Speakers included Jeff Hoffman, founder and CEO of Ended up meeting Ethan Temianka here in Atlanta for this event and we hung out again at Blogworld. It’s always fun when that happens.

4 Powerpoint Live – Instead of trying to create your own powerpoints, subcontract it out. (just kidding 🙂 )  In all reality, it may be more time effective and cost effective to have someone else do it so that you can focus on what you really do best. Powerpoint 2007 allows you to create your own themes w/ slidemasters (aka your own template and colorscheme) that carries onto sub slides. In addition, themes can be used in word, excel and powerpoint.

5 Cool Twitter Conference – Love fellow speaker, Joyce Bone’s, points – know your market worth – don’t underestimate your value. AND “there isnt a lack of resources, just a lack of resourcefulness.” Speakers included Joyce Bone, Todd Schnick Robyn Cobb, Andrew Windham and myself.

6 – Blogworld, Las Vegas – there was so much information to grasp and what seemed like hundreds of speakers and panelists that it was overwhelming. There were 10+ sessions going on… simultaneously! Sadly I was not privy to the sessions, only networking on the expo floor which was incredibly valuable for me, considering what I teach. HOWEVER, it was confirmed to me yet again that there is a huge disconnect between bloggers and networking offline and that they miss the boat and overlook the value in it. I also walked away with the realization that there is a big difference between those who BLOG and podcast for a living versus those who use blogging + podcasting to compliment their business growth and supplement their marketing.

I was reminded of the importance of having actual communities and face to face relationships. In some cases, I witnessed that just because you are big deal online behind an avatar with a spunky personality doesn’t mean anything if people don’t know who you are offline and is totally futile if, in person you are not who you seem to be online. This is the importance of actually meeting your community and being authentic! Take away point? Make sure you use a picture that looks like you and don’t pretend to be extroverted online if you are very introverted in person.

In addition, when twitter went down and I was unable to access it Saturday night, I went from being totally connected to completely isolated as I had no way to communicate with anyone who I had met at the event as that was the preferred communication platform of choice. Fortunately I had gotten a few business cards and was able to communicate via text but it was a glaring sign of a potential problem with way people communicate as these events and possibly in general.

Blogworld was also great because I met some fabulous women such as Jennifer Wojcik, roommate of Kate Buck Jr, who is turns out we were already connected on Twitter who will be in Atlanta in the upcoming months and we have some interesting mutual contacts. It’s a perfect example of you never know who you are going to meet and why you did. I love moments like that.

Please note that this is a quick and dirty version of several key points… More expanded posts to come highlighting these points and more!