a Purple Cow: Start Giving "Remarkable" Presentations By Chris
King (with excerpts by Seth Godin)
receive a ton-load of magazines and other great reading material daily,
weekly and monthly, but there is one magazine that stands out from all
of the others - one that I can barely put down once it arrives. It is
the "remarkable" publication, Fast Company.
we shouldn't be surprised that the February 2003 issue includes a "remarkable"
essay adapted from contributing editor Seth Godin's forthcoming
book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Becoming Remarkable.
Godin's essay has made such a profound impact on my thinking, in the following
article I am going to highlight a few of his great marketing ideas and
the ways in which I feel, as powerful presenters, we can make them work
for us and our presentations and the marketing of our presentations.
words, "For years, marketers have talked about the `five Ps'
(actually, there are more than five, but everyone picks their favorite
handful): product, pricing, promotion, positioning, publicity, packaging,
pass along, permission. Sound familiar? This has become the basic marketing
checklist, a quick way to make sure that you've done your job. Nothing
is guaranteed, of course, but is used to be that if you dotted your is
and paid attention to you five Ps, then you were more likely than
not to succeed. No longer. It's time to add an exceptionally important
new P to the list:Purple
Let me explain." And, he goes on to tell us about driving
through France with his family and how in the beginning they were "enchanted
by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing in the lovely pastures right
next to the road." After awhile, however, they started ignoring the
cows, because, "the new cows were just like the old cows." They
became common, and "worse than common: it was boring." What
a terrific metaphor for our presentations and marketing. We need to ask
ourselves, "Are we and our approach to speaking so common that we
have become boring? What will make us stand out from the herd and make
us and our presentations remarkable - like a Purple Cow would?"
examine some of the questions Godin suggests asking ourselves in his list
of "10 Ways to Raise a Purple Cow."
you could choose your customers and clients, who would they be?
Who would be the most profitable? Have you considered the advantages
of speaking in your own region instead of spending most of your time
on the road and away from home? The individual fees charged and paid
probably would be less, but just think of what you could accomplish
with that extra time. And consider how you would fare with the lack
of travel wear and tear. It is time to start catering to the people
we would choose to work with if we could choose. I choose to work with
the people who make it possible for me to teach my aerobics classes
in the morning, present in the early afternoon or evening and then sleep
in my own bed at night.
is an underserved niche market that we could dominate if we could
create a presentation that would appeal to that market - even if it
would compete with one we already offer?
if we started providing a super special service just for those clients
who love us? What could it be? I already send out a free newsletter
with loads of tips and ideas, but am now thinking of sending my favorite
clients a free e-book that is filled with tips that could impact their
lives and careers. Or, we might invite them for free to a brand new
program we are creating.
small or detailed practices could we make remarkable? Godin suggests
getting into the habit of doing things in an "unsafe" way
every time we have the opportunity. That way we'll find out what is
working and what isn't. It is so easy to stay in our comfort zone. We
use the same stories, network with people we already know, attend the
meetings we always attend and market to the groups we know. Is it time
to stop relying on PowerPoint - or using it if you never have? How about
working on a topic that fascinates you, but has always seemed to "off-the-wall?"
the limits. What if you're the cheapest, the fastest, the slowest,
the hottest, the coldest, the easiest, the most efficient, the loudest,
the most hated, the copycat, the outsider, the hardest, the oldest,
the newest, or just the most! If there's a limit, you should (must)
test it." WOW! I love this suggestion. How about being the most
outrageous? Or the most organized? The most outspoken? The most challenging
and unsettling to audiences?
small. Godin points out that the present day thinking is that what
we do should appeal to the masses. What if we imagine the smallest conceivable
market and create a presentation that overwhelms them with its remarkability?
things are "just not done?" Once you think of them, go
ahead and do them. It can almost become a way of life to do those things
that are "just not done." My children learned long ago that
their mother was going to do those very things, and finally they and
I celebrate the differences. It certainly keeps one from ever being
boring! If we present according to all of the rules of speaking, listeners
will listen, and they may even learn something, but they will leave
without remembering our name and usually will forget what they heard
within two or three days.
"Why not?" Almost everything we don't do has no good reason
for it. Almost everything we don't do is a result of fear or inertia
or a historical lack of someone asking, "Why not?" This goes
along with the answer we so often receive when asking "Why?"
and receiving the standard answer, "We've always done it that way."
Certainly, this describes the common and boring brown cow.
I hope that
through sharing some of the Purple Cow ideas and suggestions with
you, I have sparked some ideas and actions that will help make your 2003
presentations powerful and remarkable in all ways - and much more
enjoyable for you and your listeners. Please send me your thoughts. I
love getting your FEEDBACK!
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Company fast! It is a Purple Cow.
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