Color Yourself In!

Color Yourself In!

It’s noisy out there!

And every business wants to get noticed. We’re living in an “overcommunicated” society. Consumers are on information overload. That’s what marketing gurus, Al Ries and Jack Trout, told us 25 years ago. And that was before the Internet and Blackberries and Podcasts. So how can you grab the attention of your audience?

Ever wonder why the telephone companies use frogs and dimes and monkeys and beavers and geckos in their ads? Why? Because you can’t SEE phone service.

We have to learn to create a visual when we speak, so that people can see what we’re saying. We can’t present ourselves in black and white like in a kid’s coloring book. Pick up a crayon or two and color yourself in!

Whenever I say this, someone always asks me, “But Tsufit, what if I don’t have any color?” You do. You just have to find it. Sometimes you have to really dig for it.

A client came to see me a few years ago because she had to give a speech about her Speaker’s Bureau to a bunch of professional speakers. She was shaking in her boots (OK, so I’m exaggerating a bit) because she, herself, wasn’t a professional speaker and her previous speaking engagements hadn’t gone well. She came to me to help her add a bit of color to an otherwise dry “how to” speech.

When I interviewed her I found out that she had grown up on a tomato farm and that when she was a kid, she helped her dad pick the tomatoes and take them to market.

I said “Isn’t that more or less what you’re doing now, only with speakers? Picking them and taking them to market.” So we came up with a whole tomato analogy for speakers, how some are still seedlings, some are still green, some are ripe and plump and juicy and ready for market and others are just plain rotten! She did the speech and reported that she had a whole line up of people waiting to speak to her afterwards. She had found her color!

If you can’t do it on your own, ask a friend to interview you or hire a coach. Ask yourself questions about what you wanted to be when you were a kid, your hobbies, what’s quirky about you, what’s unusual–even if it has nothing to do with your business; we’ll make those connections later. When I was a lawyer, I had a mug that said “Lawyers and Painters Can Turn Black Into White”. Now I show people how to turn black and white into color.

Use your words as paintbrushes. Like I said, when you speak, when you write, pick up a crayon or two and color yourself in!

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