And the winner is…YOU!

In a nutshell, all of this Survival Speech lore is about sticking-out, in a world where much of what’s said simply blends-in. And “speech” isn’t just verbal. In various other ways you express yourself, seeming-different will advantage you. Remember that the next time you enter a prize drawing. And remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter.

When you’ve filled-out your entry blank, wrinkle it up. Then smooth it out.
Doing this will improve your chances of winning, and I speak from experience.
Why this works:

If they’ll be spinning the drum before drawing, your entry blank will move-around more than – and not-adhere-to – other perfectly-flat entry blanks.
If they don’t spin the drum, and merely reach into a box full of other perfectly-flat entry blanks, many of which are sticking together, yours will feel different to the person reaching-in.

When you win, act surprised.

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Avoid committing THE rudest, most common gaffe.

John  Tesh“Unless you have children or you’re waiting for news about a liver transplant,” John Tesh says “it’s too tempting to keep checking who is calling each time it rings, and your date might just think it’s another man or woman. Same thing goes for your BlackBerry.
It’s disrespectful to divide your attention between the person in front of you and a beeping little piece of plastic. It also says, ‘You’re only semi-important to me.’”

And puh-LEEEZ…
Listen to your voicemail before returning calls.
Does your wireless phone send calls you didn’t answer into voicemail? Does it list phone numbers of calls you missed? If so, DON’T call-back callers-you-missed until you have first listened to your voicemail.
Otherwise, you frustrate them, asking them to repeat a message they just left, as your voicemail greeting instructed them to, which you didn’t bother listening to.
If you’re a job applicant, this-alone could be a deal killer. There are few things you can convey that are as-fundamentally-maddening-as, “I didn’t hear you.”

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Are YOU cutting through the clutter?

You’re talking, but are you communicating?
This has always been the difference between successful people and everybody else.
Then came the recession. Now, the stakes are too high, and the margin for error is too low.

How critical are your communication skills?
Are you, for instance, SELLING something?
Here’s who you’re talking to, THE most important retail consumer there is, the “Secretary of the (family) Treasury.”

Even if what-you’re-selling isn’t a product or service…if you have ANY kind of message to convey to active adults, you’ve got some mental clutter-to-cut-through…

…as you’ll appreciate when you read this actual focus group comment from a 34-year-old woman, describing her typical weekday:

“At 5AM, I wake up and get on the treadmill. At 6, I get myself, my son, and my daughter ready. I help my husband get his lunch together, and hope to get out the door by 7AM to get my kids to daycare. By 7:15 I start my drive to work. I go through Starbucks drive-through to get a pastry and coffee. I work from 8AM to 5PM. During my lunch hour though, I get clothes to the dry cleaner and back, pick up groceries, and run other errands I can’t get done after work. Then, usually I’ll pick up lunch or pack a lunch and eat it at my desk once I get back at 1 o’clock. At 3, my husband gets off work and picks up the kids from daycare, so my phone rings continuously with them until 5…when I get off work and race home. Then, I play with the kids while I’m cooking dinner and doing laundry…get them in bed by 9. Spend time with my husband until 10 or 11 at night…which usually involves falling asleep in front of the TV. By 11, I go to sleep to start all over again.”

Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.Want her attention?
She’d sure “see” this, which I snapped with my iPhone camera at a farm stand store, and which demonstrates a key point from The Survival Speech Manifesto: “Fun is fine.”
Here, on the other hand, is what you’re trying to avoid. This sign, in an office building I visit often, is on a door which is permanently propped-open:

“The world has been reset. Today’s uncertainty feels like ‘the new normal.’ We will not return to the relative tranquility of the pre-crisis world.”
Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO, GE

So it’s only prudent to assume that everyone you deal with is at least distracted, and probably fearful on some level. You need to cut-through THAT clutter.

Bookmark, because I’m using this space to, literally, write-the-book. So if you check-back-here often, you can look over my shoulder as I do.

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