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Mitch Joel: Humanizing the Brand

Mitch Joel: Humanizing the Brand

What makes an interview interesting is when the guest feels comfortable enough to let his guard down and be vulnerable.  Mitch Joel has a special gift for enabling this moments.  On his podcast Six Pixels of Separation, we set out to talk about how big brands can use storytelling and humor to humanize, and found ourselves in a much deeper discussion about surviving failure.

I shared a bit about my work on IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign and at Cisco, and also explored the challenges faced by a creative person working as a full time employee at a large corporation.

Listen to the podcast on this link or in iTunes, SPOS #396

Mitch Joel Ctrl Alt Delete

Improv Rules for the Conference Call – #INBOUND13

I studied improv under Amy Poehler at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater for two  years before she joined SNL.  While she’s the most brilliant improviser I’ve ever witnessed, she’s also one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, following only Ms. Reed, my sophomore Latin teacher in the stack rankings.   She has the gift of encouragement, and when you’re learning to perform The Harold — a long form improv format where a troupe perform a 30 minute show based on a single audience suggestion — encouragement is needed.

Some of the most terrifying moments in my life occurred in my early days of improv.  After learning a few simple principles, I began to feel comfortable stepping out on stage in front of a full audience with nothing but trust for my team and an empty mind, ready to discover the show.  I reluctantly began to understand what Del Close meant when he preached, “Follow the Fear.”

In the world of corporate communication and content marketing, it’s fear that keeps us from our best.  Fear to be different, fear of not getting promoted, fear of failure.  When I’ve applied the rules I learned in my corporate life, it’s lead to my biggest successes.   I’ll talk about three of these rules at #INBOUND13, Wednesday 12 noon, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.  Swing by if you’re in town.  I’ll post the video when it’s live.

 

 

9 Steps for Writing an Audience-Flattering TED Talk

The TED-O-Matic, by Bruce Feirstein, in Vanity Fair.

ted-o-matic

Last year The Onion debuted its TED satire.

If the TED-O-Matic doesn’t give you the help you need, try Nick Morgan’s article, How to Prepare a 20 -Minute TED-like Talk, and Nancy Duarte’s TEDx speech: The Secret Structure of Great Talks.  Her analysis of speeches from Dr. Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs  are compelling.