February 1, 2015

Your easy-button for creating popular articles, guest posts and social media updates

You, after discovering Strip the Blog

You, after discovering Strip the Blog


That itchy, anxious feeling you get when it’s time to write another post for your blog (or magazine article) and you are. out. of. ideas.

You’re burned out. Hasn’t it ALL been said before?

If this is what’s been going through your head, hold on, people, you’re gonna like this one.

It’s Strip the Blog, a completely free online tool you can use to find the most popular recent posts on a website.

Now, Strip the Blog does use social sharing as its metric, so it doesn’t give you the WHOLE picture (email subscribers or comments) but it is a fantastic way to get the pulse in your subject area.

Here’s how this magic works:

Go to Strip the Blog.

Enter the url of the blog you want to “strip.”

Click on the timeframe – from one week to two months.

Click it to strip it!

What can you do with this magical information?

Here are three suggestions from the makers of Strip the Blog, along my ideas for putting them into action:

1. See which topics go viral on blogs of your competitors and steal them for your own blog.

But there’s an art to this. Don’t just rehash the same post with slightly different words. We don’t need more of the same.

Instead, rethink the topic. Apply your own filter. Ask yourself a few questions to uncover your own take on the topic:

Q. Is there part of this topic that should be expanded?
Q. Do I believe that any part of this post is wrong, and that there’s a better approach?
Q. Did the author miss something HUGE that readers need? Can I rectify that sitch?

Link to the popular post in your own post and then talk about what and why your opinion or advice on the topic differs.

What’s great about taking a popular topic and reshaping it from your own point of view is that you can also reach out to the owner of the popular blog and let her or him know that you’ve written a post with a different angle. Sometimes that blog owner will even mention your post to his or her readers, with a link (score!)

Watch it work

Let’s look at Strip the Blog in action.

I used MichaelHyatt.com. Michael Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing and author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

Michael blogs about personal development, leadership, productivity, platform, and publishing. Plus, he has a large following, so if you cover similar topics, you’ll have a pulse on your people and what they like.

Famous in your field tip: use Strip the Blog to find out what's popular in your niche

His top post, The 37 Best Business Books I’ve Ever Read, snagged an ah-mazing 1000+ shares on Twitter, over 6,000 on Facebook (yowza!) and a respectable 86 on Google +.

The takeaway

What’s your takeaway? People LOVE book recommendations. They want to save the list, share the list, tell their friends and followers which books they’ve read and which ones are up next.

How can you adapt this post topic?

How about:

“The best business books [in your niche]?”

“The best business books you’ve never read.”

“The best business books for newbies.”

“The best books for business (that aren’t actually about business!)”

2. Understand which topics perform the best on a certain blog, before writing a guest post there.

Got a guest post coming up? Strip that blog and read the five most popular posts. Analyze why they made an impact and then try to incorporate those elements into your own guest post.

In a previous post on giving good interviews, I mentioned that when Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo and former Facebooker, is interviewed, he preps for it.

How? He listens to a show’s most popular interview and analyzes what made it so popular, so that he can add those elements to his interview too.

(Hint: the most popular are the ones that offer meaty content with specific strategies and tips, not vague advice.)

Do like Noah.

3. Quickly find awesome content to share with your followers on Twitter & Facebook.

My special twist on this is to find the content that your followers don’t already know about. It’s super for you because you get to bring something new of value to your people. Everyone wants to be a hero!

Bonus tip (corporate marketers, this one’s for you!)

Just not feelin’ your blog this week? Stumped about what to write? Take a short cut and use Strip the Blog to create a “roundup post” of your favorite bloggers or posts on a topic.

Who doesn’t want to curated list of guaranteed good stuff, served directly to them? No one.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment

Pick three blogs that you want to strip. Head over to Strip the Blog and discover the most popular posts on those websites. Read ‘em and decide: will you cover the same topic with your own special sauce, prep for a guest post or use the info to fill up your social media slate?

Now get out there and shine, you miracle machine.

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Two ways to find radio interview opportunities

Famous in Your Field tips: get interviewed on the radio

Famous in Your Field tips: boost your fame with radio interviews

Radio? You?

You bet, you.

Even if you’ve got a face just made for high definition TV, darling, radio is a fantastic way to grow your fame factor.

Just think about it:

Learning about your expertise and message from via broadcast media is an excellent way to be discovered by potential clients and fans!

Hearing your voice and your message, straight from your lips increases the know, like and trust factor so much faster than publishing or social media.

You can share your radio interview on your own site and all over the interwebs, boosting that reach.

Plus, you can do it from anywhere. (And you can wear your pajamas…holla for yoga pant interviews!)

If you want to perform well, keep a these tips in mind:

  • Know what you want to say. Have your key points mapped out, on paper. Keep them near you while you’re being interviewed.
  • Say what you think. Good radio is punchy, with a point of view.
  • Practice! Practice answering questions. Practice your witty banter.
  • Speak in sound bites (typically, ten to twenty seconds long.) Radio hosts like guests who can make their point quickly, and with a little pizzazz. If they want you to elaborate more, they’ll ask.
  • Inject your voice with energy. Stand up, and smile, smile, smile.

Now, wondering how to land these magical fame-boosting radio interviews? I’ve got two sources for you:


Radio-Locator is the most comprehensive radio station search engine out there. There you’ll find have links to over 14,100 radio stations’ web pages and over 9500 stations’ audio streams from radio stations in the U.S. and around the world.

You can search by format, by call letters (WKRP in Cincinnati, anyone?) or by geography. Just type your zip code into the field and RadioLocator will spit out a list of radio stations in your area.

The locator listed 59 stations in my listening area (generally, about 50 miles or less from where I live.)

Each entry links to the station’s website. From there, let your research super powers find the show and producer that fits your expertise.


Radio Guest List is a daily email service like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) that solicits experts to interview on radio and podcast shows.

As a subscriber, you can sign up for targeted lists and you’ll get a daily email listing the guest requests for those topics.

(The basic service is free, but the premium service promises 50% more leads and is only about $5 per month, so it’s a total steal.)

You can sign up for requests in these categories:

  • Entertainment and Arts
  • Health and Wellness
  • Business and Technology
  • Self-Improvement, Spirituality and Relationships
  • Lifestyle and Sports
  • Paranormal
  • Politics, Law and Society

Interview requests include the show name, description, booking contact for interviews, audience demographics, audience size and show format.

RadioGuestList request

Bonus tip: you can also use this RadioGuestList.com to find guests for your radio show or podcast. It’s completely free for hosts and bookers.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment

Sign up for Radio Guest List and watch for the right match. Then, jump on it and get your genius onto the airwaves. Shine on, rising star.

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The secret fame advantage that you can get, too

Let’s talk about one factor that can give you a serious advantage when it comes to being famous in your field.

It’s why you want to follow one speaker backstage after her gig and go home with her, while others leave you cold.

It’s the quality that makes you pick one person over another when they both seem equally suited to do the job.

The secret sauce? It’s charisma and you need it if you want to be a leader and expert in your industry.

Famous in your field tip: three elements of charisma

Charisma doesn’t just help you; it helps your movement, too:

Robert House of Wharton School business professor says, charismatic leaders “cause followers to become highly committed to the leader’s mission, to make significant personal sacrifices, and to perform above and beyond the call of duty.”

When you’re striving to become famous in your field, being charismatic isn’t a “nice to have” – it’s a must.

But here’s the best part: anyone can be more charismatic.

Yes, my friend, YOU can be charismatic.

It doesn’t matter if you were picked last for the dodgeball team in elementary school. Or if three people fell asleep while you delivered your last talk. You can change that.

Too many people dismiss charisma as empty schmooze ability. (“I don’t want to be fake. People either like me or they don’t.)

Or as an innate quality that you’re either born with or without. (“I can’t help it if I’m not as popular as he is. That’s just the way it is.”)

Not true.

Science has proven that there are certain specific behaviors that make a person charismatic. And you can develop those behaviors. Without being fake or changing your personality.

The book, The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, breaks down charisma as three key behaviors: presence, power, and warmth.

Charisma Myth book

Presence is the foundation that charisma is built on.

Power and warmth are trickier – they must both exist, in order for the person to be charismatic. Power by itself is bold, but cold. Warmth, by itself, is sweet but meek.

Here’s how to demonstrate more presence, power and warmth on the reg:


Being present is paying attention to what’s going on rather than being caught up in your thoughts. It’s giving other people the priceless gift of your full attention.

Presence means focusing your energy and attention on the moment. Not thinking about something that just happened to you, or what you must remember to do later today. Your eyes aren’t darting around the room, checking out who else is there…100% of your attention is on the person you are with.

What’s the big deal with being present? When we are fully present, we create a memorable moment for those immediately around us.

“Presence is the single most requested aspect of charisma when I’m coaching executives. They want to increase their executive presence or boardroom presence.

And they’re right to focus on it: presence turns out to be the real core component of charisma, the foundation upon which all else is built. When you’re with a charismatic master— take Bill Clinton, for example— you not only feel his power and a sense of warm engagement, you also feel that he’s completely here with you, in this moment. Present.” ~Olivia Fox Cabane

Ever find yourself in a situation and feel your mind wandering? Here’s a way to bring your attention back to the present in seconds:

Focus your attention on the sensations in your toes. Yep, your toes. Doing this for a moment will stop your thoughts from swirling and connect you to your physical surroundings. And that will amp up your presence.


You can show power through your body and your voice.

We’ve all heard that your mind affects your body. But the reverse is true, too. Your body affects your mind. Fact.

I’ve got three guidelines to powerful speech from the book:

1. Speak slowly.

Ditch the nervous squeaky teenager that may be lurking inside. Show some gravitas. (Rushing and stumbling over your words signals to other people that you’re not confident.)

2. Pause. 

This badass move practically compels people to listen to you, waiting to hear what’s next. (It also shows that you are confident in your power and trust that you won’t be interrupted.)

3. Drop your intonation. 

Assert it, people. For the love of God, do not upspeak.


Warmth, the third ingredient in the charisma cocktail is what makes a person truly irresistible. Power demonstrates your confidence in yourself (and I like to hear that.) But warmth demonstrates your caring for me (and I LOVE that.)

And we all like people who care about us.

The easiest way to convey warmth? You already know this magic: smile. Smile when you talk, even on the phone. People can hear the difference in the warmth.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment

Ready to amp up your charisma? This week, pick one of these ingredients – the one that you think could use a little boost – and practice it in three situations. Notice the results.

Oooo, I see a spotlight headed your way, A-Lister!

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One sure-fire way to boost your fame factor (that’s surprisingly easy)

Famous in Your Field tip: be a great panelistWant to raise your profile?

Build your business cred?

Maybe even dip your toe into the public speaking waters?

I’ve got a great way to get you noticed and ease yourself into the public speaking game.

Be a panelist.

Panels, in case you aren’t familiar with the term, are a small group of individuals, considered subject matter experts, gathered by an event organizer, who speak on a topic before an audience. Usually, there’s a moderator to ask questions of the panelists and transition between them.

Here’s why being a panelist is 100% awesome:

  • You get the prestige of being viewed as an authority in your field. (Someone chose you to be on the panel after all!)
  • You get to make connections with a few other high flyers (your fellow panelists and the moderator.)
  • You benefit from a halo effect of being associated with the other people on the panel.
    The moderator is often a well-known public figure or prominent person in your industry (aka, someone you’d like to know.)

And here’s why it’s easier than giving a full-blown presentation:

  • You are typically speaking in short bursts, a minute to a few minutes at a time. (Don’t be the talky-talker!)
  • You’re one of several speakers, so you get a little break to collect your thoughts before it’s your turn to speak again.
  • As a panelist, you’re typically responding to questions that you’ve been given before the event, so you have time to craft your response and practice delivering like a pro.

How to shine on a panel

The best panel speakers are prepared. They tell stories, exude energy and make a connection with the audience.

You can be one of them, when you follow these five guidelines.

1. Prepare. 

Why do so many panels stink out loud? Because the panelists don’t take it seriously. They think that they can just “wing it.” So, so wrong.

Whatever you do, do not preface ANY of your comments with this groan-inducer: “I really haven’t prepared anything formal.”

Instead, ask for details on the topic, the focus and the questions in advance. Prepare your answers with good information, punchy sound bites and quick stories. Practice delivering them, in whole and in part (in case you get cut off.)

Practice your transitions, too. These are short phrases that let you take control of the conversation and share your story. Keep these phrases in your repertoire:

“Let me add something to that idea…”

“My perspective is different, I believe/think/experienced…”

“At my company, we…”

2. Get to know the other panelists.

Ask the organizer to schedule a conference call or better yet, a Skype chat or Google Hangout, so that you can see each of your fellow panelists, as well as the moderator.

This is your chance to establish rapport, get to know the other panelists’ speaking styles and refine each of your roles.

3. Guarantee your great intro. 

While the session is being organized, send your bio to the organizer and the moderator. Make it short (three sentences!) snappy, and easy to read.

Practice reading it aloud yourself. Rework any words or phrases that trip you up, and include pronunciation help.

But don’t rest there! Bring a printed copy with you. Before the panel starts, hand the moderator the same printed bio and tell him or her to read it verbatim.

4. Talk to the audience.

Panel newbies find it hard to resist the pull to look at, and address their responses to the moderator. It’s natural: after all, the moderator is the person asking you the questions. He or she is also someone you’ve established a bit of a relationship with.

But, no. Nix. Nein.

Never look at the moderator. 1000% of your attention should be focused on the audience.

5. Keep your energy level UP.

When you’re the panelist who’s not speaking, it’s easy to look bored (even when you’re not.)

You forget that even though someone else is talking, you’re still on stage, too. And at least some of the audience members are watching your facial expressions and body language.


  • Hunch or slouch
  • Stare into space
  • Look down at your phone

Being a panelist is a powerful opportunity to showcase your knowledge and your personality. Make it work for you with energy, stories and sound bites.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

This week, seek out one opportunity to speak on a panel. (Maybe you should organize one?) If you have trouble finding one, let three people know that it’s something you’d like to do. When you put your intentions into the world, word spreads and opportunities flow your way.

What’s that hot, shiny object? Oh, it’s you, superstar!

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Four ways to create more fans from your content (without creating more!)

4 Ways to Create More Fans from your ContentHere’s a depressing fact: too many creators leave their content to languish on their website, alone and forgotten.

And once, it’s published, they never. look. at. it. again.

Noooo! Don’t abandon your brilliant creations, just because you finished them a week ago. Only the tiniest fraction of people have actually seen that piece of content. You must share it, repeatedly.

You owe it to us.

Here are four simple, but powerful ways to get more readers, viewers and fans for your message:

1. Put it where there are already lots of eyeballs.

Sounds obvious, right? But a surprising number of people with great content think that they can only publish on their own website, their own YouTube channel, or their own email newsletter.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

There are millions of site owners who’re scrambling for material and would be delighted to publish something from you.

So instead of hoarding your mind magic, polish it and publish it on a more popular website as a guest post.

Or, as an article in a colleague or association’s newsletter. Or in a trade magazine.

Publish it on LinkedIn.

(Bonus: When you’ve been published somewhere else, you get the credibility boost of being ‘As seen in.’)

2. Get more eyeballs (traffic) to your website.

This one takes more work on your part, because you’re trying to expand an audience, rather than getting your message in front of one that’s already established. But you can do it!

There are the obvious tools. I’m talking about social media:

  • Tweet about it, with a link.
  • Post a link on Facebook.
  • LinkedIn Status update – write an interest-piquing update and link to your post or article.
  • Share it in LinkedIn groups.
  • Post an image on Instagram and write the link in the caption.
  • Share it on Google +.
  • Pin it on Pinterest.

Don’t forget to ask people to share it! Twice as many people will, just because you made the ask.

3. Promote it more.

Re-promote your content after it’s been published. Some small and solo businesses believe that once a blog post, article or other content has been published, it’s old news and everyone has seen it.

Not true! Only a tiny section of your audience actually noticed your gem. And if you don’t promote it, most of the people who need to see it will miss out. *Sad face.*

We tire of our marketing loooong before anyone else does. Fact.

Derek Halpern, blogging expert and founder of SocialTriggers.com, talks about the 80/20 rule:

“Here’s the truth:

It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more.

Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created.” [http://socialtriggers.com/80-20-blog-building/]

If only a few people have seen it and there are hundreds/thousands/millions who would love it, let them know that it exists! Perhaps a mention and a link?

  • If you regularly only post it on your website, send it via email to your friends and fans.
  • Add it to your newsletter: include links to your 3 most recent posts, your most popular posts over the last year or of all time.
  • Send it to strategic partners who’d be interested. (Let other people grab eyeballs for you.)
  • Find interested affinity groups (groups of people who share a common interest or occupation) and email a link to their leaders, accompanied by a gracious, helpful message.

4. Re-purpose. Re-purpose. Re-purpose.

Reap the dividend of your intellectual and time investment, people. Get your content out there in different forms. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really much less than constantly creating new content from scratch.

Think about it: individuals have different preferences for how they absorb information. When you offer yours in different formats, you’re able to reach a broader audience.

Just what could you do with a single piece of content? Check this out:

Let’s say that you give a presentation. And you’ve put a pile of hours into preparing that, right? Don’t let it languish, with your brilliant ideas only heard once by the captive crowd.

Starting with your presentation slides, you can:

  • Upload them to Slideshare.
  • Embed the Slideshare viewer on your website so visitors can enjoy those babies.
  • Add it to your LinkedIn profile (LinkedIn owns Slideshare, so those two platforms play together like BFFs.)
  • Write a blog post around it. I like to use the Slideshare embed code, then add an opening and closing paragraph, as well as a few bullets. Bada bing, bada boom, done.
  • If your presentations are big on visuals but light on text (ahem, which they totally should be!) you can make your message less cryptic by adding your talking points on new slides. Voila, you’ve got yourself an ebook!

Want to get really fancy? (It’s actually easy-peasy, but you don’t have to let your fans know that.)

  • Record yourself giving your presentation using a free tool like Audacity or Apple’s Garage Band and you’ve got a podcast or Soundcloud file you can post on your website.
  • Use Google’s free Hangouts tool to create a video recording of you, delivering your material. (You can even share your screen to show slides! Plus, it’s automatically on YouTube, the third largest search engine in da world.)
  • Take snippets from your presentation and post them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ using a visual quote maker, like Recite, Quozio, Pinstamatic, Pinwords, or Share as Image. (Visuals more eyeballs than plain text, yo.)

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

This week (and maybe next!), do not create one thing from scratch. Instead dig into your digital archives and get your content in front of more eyeballs. Pick one idea from the list and MAKE IT HAPPEN. You’ve totally got this.

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The surprisingly simple secret to getting noticed

Want the secret to success and happiness? Want to know how to stand out in the crowd? (Spoiler alert: It’s a major part of becoming famous in your field.)

It comes down to this:

Know your strengths. Show your strengths. Believe in your value.

Boy playing with pilot´s hat and cloudy background

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin

You may already know your own strengths. Or you may not recognize them and believe that your unique abilities are available to the general population, something everyone has.

Not true. Inside you, there are special talents that others covet.

Want to uncover your special skillz?

I’ve got two resources you’re gonna love, people!

VIA Survey

VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS), formerly known as the “Values in Action Inventory,” is a psychological assessment measure designed to identify an individual’s profile of character strengths.

The VIA-IS is comprised of 24 character strengths. Each of us have our combination of these strengths that make up our own unique profiles. It’s your secret sauce, yo.

Know your character strengths with the VIA Survey

Know your character strengths with the VIA Survey

“The strengths are universally valued, encompass our capacities for helping ourselves and others and produce positive effects when we express them. Knowing your constellation of character strengths is the first step towards living a happier, more authentic life.” ~VIA Institute on Character

(You can take the FREE VIA Survey here.)


The good people at Gallup (yup, that Gallup) created an online test that uncovers a person’s natural talents. The “father of strengths-based psychology”, Donald Clifton developed the Strengthfinders on the idea that every one of us has natural talents.

Discover your innate talents with the StrengthFinder test.

Discover your innate talents with the StrengthFinder test.

“From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.”

The message of Strengthfinders is to flip that formula! When you know your natural, in-born talents, you can focus on doing what you do best. Every. Damn. Day.

What’s funny is that you may not even recognize some of your own talents as strengths. You take them for granted, because they come so easily to you.

My own BFF helped me to recognize something I do naturally as a talent that other people value. My top strength on Strengthfinders is INPUT. (Sounds totally lame, right? I thought so.)

It means that I’m inquisitive. A collector of information.

But when I read this in the Strengthfinders 2.0 book, I got chills:

“You might naturally be an exceptional repository of facts, data and ideas. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to position yourself as an expert. By simply following your Input talents, you could become known as the authority in your field.”


And it explained why I love to help people become known as leaders and experts in their industry.

It’s the same for you: whether you’re self employed or working within a business or non-profit, you have unique talents that you can leverage. You just have to discover them.

Knowing (and using) your special strengths has three powerful benefits:

1. You stand out from the crowd.

“No one is you and that is your power.” Dave Grohl. Philosopher. Foo Fighter.

Get on Dave’s level, please! When you recognize, use, and OWN your strengths (and by “own”, I mean letting other people know about them), you become distinctive.

2. You are more effective.

When you shift your work to suit your talents, your performance improves. We’ve all struggled to perform tasks that we’re not just not good at…and it sucks. But when we work from our natural strengths and talents, time flies, and we become energized. Work is a joy.

3. You are more confident. 

Confidence is believing that you can do something. It’s what spurs you into action.

Confidence comes from playing to your distinctive strengths and values. And you want to do everything you can to boost your confidence levels because studies show that confidence trumps IQ when it comes to predicting success.

Your fame boosting assignment

Take both these tests to uncover your unique combination of strengths. The VIA-IS is free, but the Strengthfinders 2.0 test requires a special code that you get when you purchase a book. Believe me, the $15 bucks or so that it costs is totally worth it!

Knowing your one-of-a-kind brand of awesome will fire you up with confidence and energy, attracting followers and fans like a magnet. Time to unleash your special kind of magic, friends.

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Three ways to make your audience fall in love with you

“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and, lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.”

Alexander Gregg

Famous in your field tip: 3 ways to make your audience fall in love with you

Famous in your field tip: 3 ways to make your audience fall in love with you

What do we tend to focus on most as a speaker? Our material. What to say, how to say it.

But the reality is, before you can send your message, you first have to establish a connection with your audience. Here are three ways to create a bond with your future fans:

1. Get to it. 

Cut the corporate speak.

DO NOT start out by telling the audience “a little about your company.”

(You’ve heard this at the opening of many a presentation…”Before I get started with today’s presentation, I want to tell you a little bit about [company name.] We were founded X years ago. We’re a full-service [business type], located right here in [city name], we specialize in [laundry list of service offerings.] Ughhh.)

What kind of harm can this do? More than you think!

When you fail engage your audience at the beginning, they mentally ‘check out’ until you get to something relevant to them. But the big risk is that they become so absorbed in their email inbox/Twitter feed/text chat at the beginning of your talk, they never engage with you. You’ve lost them forever. *Sad face.*

Your audience wants to be educated and entertained. Get into the good stuff right away.

Here are a few stellar ways to get started:

  • Tell a story that’s concrete and real-world. (Not real as in exactly how it happened to you; real as in ‘could potentially happen in real life, but some of the details are altered/eliminated to make it work better in the presentation.’)
  • Ask a question.
  • Introduce a problem
  • Share a quote or a statistic

2. Stick to three points

I know that you’ve got mountains of material and you are so damned excited to share it all with your audience that you exhaust and overwhelm them. (I may or may not be speaking from experience here.)

It’s natural to want to share all your good stuff and to feel as though you are cheating the audience by not downloading every. single. thing. you know to them.

But I want you to flip that thinking.

Your audience doesn’t know as much about your topic as you do, and it’s your duty to give them only what they can reasonable remember and put to use immediately.

Realizing this has been painful to me. When I’m speaking, I’m so eager to give people every strategy, tool and trick in the book, I nearly leap out of my skin. C’mon, I think, “I can give them a framework, proof that it works through my stories, a list of the can’t miss resources, and a litany of mistakes to avoid.”

Ahhhhhhhh! Audience overload!

The way that I’ve reshaped my talks is to think of my major premise.

Then, I talk about the three elements of the famous in your field process. Instead of packing the talk with information about my three elements, I’m using more stories and a few targeted exercises for them to get emotionally involved and get a result on the spot.

I’m slashing the material with a machete. (Even though it hurts me. Bad.)

Here’s a quick tip:

Save most of your advanced information for the Q & A session. Someone who already has a strong foundation in your topic will likely ask a question and you can wow that person an answer that’s appropriate to his or her level of knowledge, while subtly letting your audience know that you’ve got advanced level material, too.

3. Watch what works.

During your talk, pay attention to your audience and notice what they respond to.

Did you get unexpected guffaws from a throwaway line? Add that to your stash to use next time, too!

Is that dude in the back smiling and nodding along with you or did he pick up his phone to text today’s lunch plans with his friends?

If you see the tops of heads, inject a little energy by asking the audience to do something:

“Raise your hand if you’ve ever [something that relates to your next point.]”

“Say the first word that pops into your head when you think about [something related to your topic.]”

The best outcome of using these audience engagement exercises is that once the audience members realize that you are going to be engaging them, they remain involved, anticipating the next exercise.

Your fame boosting assignment:

Like a lot of public speaking advice, these tips are solid gold for networking events, company or client meetings and everyday conversations, too.

Pick just of one these tips and put it to work today! Board room or ballroom, it’s up to you to steal the show. Where ever you go.

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How to get published when you aren’t famous (yet)

Wondering how to get published so you can be known? And do you really have to be almost famous first?

Celebrity, photographers 2

I’ve been getting fantastic questions from new A-Listers, which makes me sooo happy. Today’s is pure gold, because so many of us who want to be famous in our field wrestle with this chicken-and-egg syndrome.

Denise says:

I am trying to get my works published and I keep being told that I need to become known first. Others tell me that before I can be known, I need to be published. Which is more important?

I hear you, Denise. The hardest part about publishing usually isn’t the actual writing, it’s getting our work onto the sites and publications we covet.

(And book publishing? It’s h-a-r-d to get a traditional publisher to sign a new author. Typically, publishers look for well known names, celebrities, CEOs and people who’ve built a platform. Numbers vary, but I’ve heard book “coaches” suggest that 20,000 combined followers from social media and email subscribers is the minimum a traditional publisher will consider.

Plus, you’ll do the marketing, not the publisher, so don’t think of a publisher as a fairy god mother who’s magic wand will wave all your marketing woes away. Buzz kill over.)

Here are three ways to get published before you become known:

1. Start small

Publish locally or in a niche, like a trade magazine. Trade magazines (industry-focused publications) and local newspapers both struggle to produce content with limited resources, and often welcome help from experts like you.

2. Be your own publisher.

Write for your own blog.

Guest blog for other websites.

Why? Because editors need to see examples of your ideas and your writing. It reduces their risk by showing that you’re credible and a good communicator.

Plus, it lets you hone your ideas and material. You know your topic even better once you’ve explained it to someone else, in writing.

3. Get onto the big sites through the “back door.” 

Have you dreamed of seeing your name as an author on big name websites like Huffington Post or Forbes.com?

It can boost your fame factor like nothing else:

A study from Nielsen, shows that expert content—credible, third-party articles (earned media)—is the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process across product categories. (Source: Chad Pollitt, via LinkedIn)

To put it plainly, people trust what they read when it’s on a reputable website or in a magazine. 

The best part is, it can be easier than you think to get your name next to the business celebrities on Forbes, CNN, LifeHacker and Business Insider.

A number of the most popular sites on the web are also what are called aggregator sites. This means that they post articles from contributing websites on their site. (That’s what’s called syndication, in the media biz.)

Here’s what that looks like, in the wild of the interwebs:


Notice what’s circled? This article was contributed from another site, YEC Women. If you click on YEC Women, you’ll see this bio:

YEC Women contributor bio for Forbes

YEC Women syndicates articles to the Forbes.com website. And this is good news for you, because it’s often easier to get published on a contributing site.

Now, let’s reverse engineer this, baby!

On the Forbes.com website, you can cruise the various articles, or use the search function to find articles in your area of expertise.

Searching “Small business”, I found articles contributed by:

  • Next Avenue
  • NewTek, the Small Business Authority
  • My Say
  • Quora
  • HBS Working Knowledge
  • Capital Flows

Then, I headed over to the Next Avenue website to do a little digging. It turns out that NextAvenue.org is a website focused on active and engaged seniors. The site’s tagline is, “Where grownups keep growing.”

In the Contact area of the website, there’s a form to send a story idea, article or resource. Boom! Slow clap, fist bump, etc.

Your fame boosting assignment:

Pick one of the three approaches – local/trade magazine, your own website or going through the back door – and spend the next 10 minutes making it happen. Now you’re on your way to turning that signature into an autograph!

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Your surefire cure for the “I don’t know what to say” blues

Do you struggle to come up with new ideas on the reg?

You’re out there every day, trying to build your fame factor and doing valuable work. Generating a stream of new ideas is one more chore you don’t need.

I hear you.

The grind of creating content can tucker an A Lister out. (“Tuckered out” is a phrase straight from my Granny Nash. Weave it into a conversation today and watch people tilt their head and mouth “awww” at you.)

That’s why I want to let you in on a fun – and free! – tool you can use to spark ideas, create headlines and inject a little humor while you’re sharing your expertise.

It’s called Portent’s Content Idea Generator. You’re going to like this one, people.


Portent is the brainchild of Portent, Inc., a digital marketing agency that’s worked with brands you love, like Kate Spade and Getty Images.

How it works

The way the Portent Content Idea Generator works is dead simple. You just log onto the website and enter your subject into the field. And boom! Out comes a title.

Don’t like the first one you see? Click the reload icon to ditch it and get another one! Let’s look at all the genius ways that you can use this tool:

  • Try it for generating speech ideas
  • Or presentation titles
  • Or blog posts that people actually read
  • Or articles (on line and in print)
  • Or webinar topics

For fun, I put “public speaking” into Portent. And here’s what I got:

“The 7 biggest public speaking blunders.”
“Who really uses public speaking”
“Why public speaking ain’t as good as it used to be”
“The unconventional guide to public speaking”
“How public speaking can get you your heart’s desire.”

So. Much. Goodness.

Watch Portent in action

Test topic #1 – taxes

If you are a money expert (accountant, business coach, —) and you wanted to offer advice to young people just starting out, you might be tempted to write articles or title your talks things like, “Top 10 Money Mistakes Millennial Women Make.”

And that’s not bad. Not bad at all.

But when I plugged the word “taxes” into Portent,  it spit back this gem, “What Jezebel should write about taxes.”

Now I’ve get something with a bit more sizzle. (If you’re not in the know, Jezebel is a website aimed at women’s interests, under the tagline “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing.” It’s fun. It’s sassy. It’s snarky.)

By using Jezebel in the title, I’d already capture the target audience’s (Millennial women) interest, along with other readers sucked in by curiosity at the mention of Jezebel.

Topic #2 – Business

I plugged “numbers” into the topic field. (It’s a nice generic term.) Business experts often throw this topic around. It’s the subject of articles, book chapters and speeches.

Portent Content Generator

“When your numbers send you running for cover.”

This topic idea is solid gold! It gives you a framework to lay out what kinds of number problems send you running for cover and WHAT TO DO when your numbers send you running for cover (hint: contact you, the expert for help.)

Just for fun, I clicked the reload button and got this:

Portent 5

“Why small businesses are scarier than Tyra Banks.”

(I had to include this one just for the “Smize, bitches” comment.)

Soooo much good stuff to work with here! Instead of the same ‘ol spouting of stats about how many businesses fail, you can inject humor. Comparing it to a reality TV competition like America’s Next Top Model is the perfect way to make some scary business realities interesting and relatable, not preachy.

Use with caution

Portent’s isn’t foolproof “out of the box” every time. You can get some clunkers, like “How Meditation Changed How We Think About Death.” Meh.

Portent also gives a few pointers for when the words just don’t sound right:

Portent Content Idea Generator: For Best Results tips

Your fame boosting assignment:

Put this tool to work. Pick a topic that you could write or speak about and come up with a list of five ideas you love. It’s time for you to get found in the crowd!

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These 3 simple questions will improve your outcome in any situation

Lauren works in the tech sector and is launching a speaking career on the side. Her speaking topic is red hot right now, popping up in the media daily.

Famous in your field: ask yourself these 3 questions

Famous in your field: ask yourself these 3 questions to improve the outcome in any situation

But when Lauren speaks, she gets a lukewarm response, not the rave reviews she’d like. She knows that she’s one of the leading experts in her field, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference to the audience.

It’s a situation I see over and over, across professionals, authors, speakers and entrepreneurs. They have great information – ideas and topics that interest people – but these would-be leaders just don’t make the impact they want. 

Here’s the bottom line:

You can work day and night on your content.

You can polish the words of your speech until they sparkle.

You can agonize over each syllable in that magazine article or blog post.

You can spend hours carefully crafting each minute on that meeting agenda.

But information alone won’t move hearts and minds. It can still fall flat.

Some of the smartest people on the planet can’t keep an audience of one interested for 60 seconds. And what happens? No one listens to them. The real tragedy is that their brilliance doesn’t impact anyone else.

What can you do to guarantee a better outcome, to have more impact, in whatever you’re pursuing?

It’s simple. Before you go into any situation, ask yourself three powerful questions:

1. What’s my energy level?

2. What do I want to make sure happens here?

3. How do I want that other person/audience/reader to feel?

Let’s take each of these questions, one by one, to see why the heck they pack such a powerful punch.

1. What’s my energy level?

A truly ridiculous amount of your success in life is determined by your energy. Fact.

And no, I don’t mean whether you run or do Crossfit. I’m talking about the energy you give off during interactions. Energy in this sense boils down to how focused you are on the people you’re interacting with and what is happening in that moment.

When you’re distracted, or multitasking or carrying mental baggage from this morning’s minor road rage incident, your energy isn’t working for you.

I know, it sounds a little woo woo, but stay with me here! Energy – good or bad –  is something that even the most left-brained among us respond to (even when we’re not aware of it!)

Think about it…isn’t there someone you know, who, just by being in his or her presence, makes you feel smarter, taller and better looking?

And then someone else who makes you feel exhausted every time you interact with them? That’s energy, baby!

And before you start ranting to yourself, “I’m not one of those loud, chirpy, manic people,” hold up! Energy doesn’t mean someone who’s boisterous and effusive. Energy can be quiet and intense, or calm and soothing.

It’s about being 100% engaged in what you are doing and who you’re with.

2. What do I want to leave the audience with?

This question is pure genius, no matter what situation you’re going into. And it works, even if your audience is one.

Here’s why: asking myself what I want to leave the audience with forces me narrow all my wide ranging ambitions and decide What’s Most Important. And then to structure everything else to meet those goals.

It’s easy to get distracted by details…the specific words you’ll use in your presentation or making d@$%@% sure your coworker doesn’t outtalk you during this morning’s meeting.

But the danger is that you lose sight of your bigger goal. That’s why it’s important to focus on what you want to leave your audience with – what’s the big idea?

When you focus on the big idea, you’ll think and act at a higher level. You won’t be distracted by things that don’t matter.

3. How do I want them to feel?

The most popular speakers and the most beloved leaders share something in common. It’s not that they say the most brilliant things. It’s that they make other people feel brilliant.

When you focus on how you want your audience to feel, rather than simply talking at them, you’ll make a bigger impact. And when you make others feel good, you’ll share much stronger connection. They will have a much more pleasurable association with you or your business.

Take your cue from Apple, which boasts the most profitable retail stores in the world. And all because they designed their entire experience around the question, “How do we want customers to feel when they walk into the store?”

Your fame boosting assignment:

Ask yourself these three questions when you’re prepping for a big presentation or speaking engagement.

And ask yourself these questions when you’re creating an agenda for an upcoming meeting.

And – sorry for blowing your mind here – ask yourself these questions when you’re just going to meet someone for coffee.

Today, pick one interaction and ask yourself these three questions. BOOM, you’re done! How easy was that? Fist bump, slow clap, etc.

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