Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Unexpected Podcast

In today's world of online social media we all need to be aware that big brother is watching and you never know when you could end up online and famous (or infamous). This is not necessarily a bad thing, but being aware that you are being watched, recorded and replayed is important.

A business associate recently sent me a link to a humours speech I gave at my Toastmasters Club that is now on YouTube. A club member had taken video of everyone's speeches at a club contest, but I had no idea that it would forever show up when you search "thom singer" on YouTube.

My friend Jeff (not his real name) works for a major national corporation with a sales force that numbers thousands of people. He is one of the top producers in the country, and continues to be working major deals in a small territory. His success is well documented inside his company and beyond.

Recently the company's training department decided to spend an hour with Jeff to pick his brain to uncover how he approaches his phenomenal business success, with the hopes of being able to impart his ways into training programs for his peers.

He spent over an hour of animated sharing all of his philosophies, pontifications, rants, raves, ideas, theories and experiences that have lead him to the top of the sales food chain in this huge organization.

Jeff thought that was the end of story until sales reps from all over the company began calling and emailing him with follow up questions from his "internal podcast".

PODCAST??? WHAT???? What podcast?

The executives from the training team had decided to record the call and were so impressed with his wisdom, that they made the call available to everyone in the company.

Jeff was on the one hand honored that the company felt so strongly about his words that they wanted all to hear. Yet, on the other hand he has not known that this discussion would be turned into a broadcast, and thus he allowed some of his language to cross the lines of what one might say in a formal business setting. The recording is full of amazing information, but one might say he voiced his vivid vocabulary vivaciously.

"Bullshit", "Shitload of Office Space", "Jesus Christ" "asshole", "bastards" and countless "damn's" and "shits" populated the widely listened to sales training podcast.

Fortunately, nobody in the company was offended by his lively terminology. In fact, his natural style made the program even more effective. If he had considered that thousands would have been listening, he might not have shared his stories in such an open manner.

I laughed for half the day after hearing this story (and listening to the podcast). I walked away with three lessons from this tale of the taping:

1. My friend Jeff is not just good at what he does, he is very insightful in how he dissects the business world. He understands the selling process and knows how to unleash success.

2. One never knows when their words might be being recorded, but you cannot always be on guard or you will sound canned. I would not have wanted Jeff to change his style, or it would not have been genuine. The lesson here is when you get caught saying "shit" or some other word, you just have to laugh. Nobody can be perfect and proper all the time, and if they are, they are usually boring. Jeff is never boring!

3. Even with a few cuss words, when one is being sincere and passionate, the heart shines through. These are the types of people we all want to listen to and learn from. Hey, there were no F-bombs tossed about!!!

Have A Great Day.


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