How are you? (What to say that isn’t blah.)

February 21st, 2015

“How are you?” Odds are you have asked and been asked that question more than once already today. And I’m betting that most of the answers you heard or gave were either “fine” or “good,” followed by the reciprocal reply, “And you?” Rinse and repeat for another round of “fine” or “good” answers, with an occasional “not bad” thrown in as a synonym for “good.” (Especially if you’re asking one of my Minnesotan in-laws.) Although no one really wants to know how the other person is when we ask “How are you?”, we do so anyway. After all, when we….

Posted in Effective Communication, Random Thoughts, Observations | 53 Comments »


Super Bowl™ Commercials: How to Watch Them and What You Can Learn (and Use) for Your Own Marketing

January 29th, 2015

I love to watch Super Bowl™ commercials. (Who doesn’t?) More specifically, however, I love to watch people watching Super Bowl™ commercials. I also like to watch people not watch them and figure out why. Try it yourself this Sunday. You can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to effective marketing–including your own effective marketing–even though you may never run an ad on television, let alone during the Super Bowl™. First things first. Take charge of the remote control. If your game-watching group is anything like the ones I’ve been a part of, rarely does anyone try and fast….

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Business, Effective Communication | 4 Comments »


The Unique Selling Proposition: You Are One of a Kind.

December 17th, 2014

  I spoke in New York City last month and made time to visit the National September 11 Museum. I braced myself for an emotional morning, knowing there would be exhibits I might choose not to experience. (Thankfully, they are clearly identified as such.) I did not expect to find motivation for a newsletter/blog post related to effective communication or marketing. The motivation came in the form of the blue wall, above. Wait. No, maybe it wasn’t a blue wall. As I got closer to the exhibit, I realized it was more of a mosaic. Large, blue tiles, thousands of….

Posted in Advertising, AEC, Branding, Business, Effective Communication, Marketing, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »


How to Market More Like Nike (Without the Shoes or Their Budget)

November 20th, 2014

Nike used to advertise and market like every one else out there. The way many people still do. Show the product. Make it big. The more bullet pointed features the better. In the late 1970’s, Nike regularly advertised its latest, greatest shoe in much the same way, on the back cover of Runner’s World magazine. Until one month, shortly before the ad materials deadline, Nike learned the newest shoe was not going to be available from the factory as expected. Uh, oh. What to run instead? According to John Brown of John Brown and Partners, Nike’s then-ad agency, Nike didn’t want….

Posted in Advertising, Business, Effective Communication, Marketing | 5 Comments »


Effective Communication Quotes (And What I Have to Say About Them)

October 23rd, 2014

I confess. I was about to throw together this month’s blog post by merely listing a bunch of inspiring quotations around better marketing, effective communication and presentation skills. Easy. Won’t take me but a little cut and paste time. Color me done. (And on target with the promise I made on my Will Do list to post monthly for one year solid.) But something happened on my way to The Easy Way Out. As I dug through my hard drive for effective communication quotes, I found a few I hadn’t used in my presentations or training for a long time. And dog….

Posted in Advertising, Communication, Effective Communication, Marketing, Presentation Skills, Sales, Uncategorized, Writing | No Comments »


What’s wrong with your marketing? (The answer may surprise you.)

September 27th, 2014

“Help! Our marketing isn’t working.” You might think that cry for help is music to my ears. (And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.) However, you might be surprised by how many times I hear that cry and end up telling people their marketing is working just fine, and that the problem lies elsewhere. And do you know what? You could have told them the same thing. Because you’ve probably been on the receiving end of marketing that allegedly “didn’t work.” It probably went something like this. . . You got an email, heard something on the radio, saw an ad,….

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Sales | 4 Comments »


Are You Looking for New Business in All the Best Places? (Here’s a fresh perspective.)

August 28th, 2014

I’ve heard many a phrase, metaphor and analogy around the act of drumming up more business and sales. Hey, look what I did right there! Pah dum pum pum. My question is about where you pound your drum, dial for dollars or press the flesh. Where do you take, put or place your message so that it reaches as many of your ideal target audience as possible? Here’s the analogy answer. Fish where the fish are biting. That’s what many a marketing and media strategist will tell you. It makes sense literally (when you’re trying to catch dinner), and figuratively….

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Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »


How Do You Make Decisions? (And Why It Matters)

July 30th, 2014

When my three kids were young, Toys R Us was one of their favorite outings. Not so much for me. Don’t get me wrong–I enjoyed being in on the big reward for saving up their allowance and redeeming Grandpa and Grandma’s gift certificates. (They didn’t have gift cards back then.) The not-so-much-fun part was running the zone defense with their dad and not letting it turn into a half-day ordeal. John covers Patrick and Timmy; I stay with Kelsey, the youngest. And the easiest. Kelsey races ahead of me just enough to test the “No running!” rule. She knows what….

Posted in AEC, Business, Communication, Effective Communication, Marketing, Presentation Skills | 4 Comments »


Four Basic Things Your Message Must Do (If You Want to Get Results)

June 17th, 2014

Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry began football camp every year by holding up a football and saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Celebrated UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s first lesson for new players each year was teaching them precisely and specifically how to put on their socks and tie their shoes. “Wrinkles cause blisters. Blisters mean you don’t play. And if you don’t play, we cannot win,” he reasoned. Two record setting and record-breaking coaches believed so strongly in the value of going back to the basics that they did so every year. I’m going to give it a try….

Posted in Advertising, AEC, Business, Communication, Effective Communication, Marketing, Presentation Skills, Writing | 2 Comments »


Powerpoint Slides and Presentation Skills: How to Beat Boredom and Hold Their Attention When Creating Slides and Giving a Presentation

May 15th, 2014

Do you know how to make your presentation slides more interesting and use them effectively in your Powerpoint (or Mac Keynote) presentations? Here are three simple things you can do to improve the presentation itself, and your skills in delivering it. Done well, slides can add punch to any Powerpoint (or Mac Keynote) presentation. Done poorly, your slides can put people to sleep. You don’t want to be boring, do you? Know Thy Enemy. Your presentation has an enemy. It’s not the competition, nervousness or the heckler sitting in the corner, in the dark, in the back. Your enemy has a….

Posted in AEC, Communication, Effective Presentations, Presentation Skills | 1 Comment »


Terri Langhans

Terri Langhans, CSP, COE
Certified Speaking Professional
Chief of Everything
Blah Blah Blah Etc., Inc.



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