Watch Scott's TEDx talk!

A brand, a business and a career. From a nametag.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Visual Map of Personal and Professional Approachability

It's been a long, exciting, stressful, fun, memorable, interesting and exhausting year. And when I look back at everything from the new book to speaking in Switzerland to the nametag tattoo, it's sure been a productive one too!

Last night I spent a few hours on one last project for 2005. It's something I've wanted to do for quite a while now, so I'm glad I finally got around to it! The image is a visual map of approachability. I drew it up because the idea has really evolved this past year, especially taking new direction in the form of professional approachability.

Now, although I'm not much of an artist, the sketch came out great. And it's a nice break for your brain to explore an abstract concept in a visual medium for once.

Happy New Year my friends!


What was the highlight of this year for you?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Santa brought me 6000 nametags!

I never could have asked for a better gift! Thanks SO much to MACO, namely my friend Janet Kelley, who supplies me with the most adhesively strong, boldest color and highest quality nametags in the world.

Take THAT, Avery.

I think 6000 nametags should last me at least through the summer.


What favorite product do you use every day?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

Monday, December 26, 2005

HELLO, my name is Podcast - Episode 2: Priceless Pieces of Business Advice

A few weeks ago I posted a free ebook called 66 Priceless Pieces of Business Advice I Couldn't Live Without. It's been downloaded almost 2000 times since then, and the feedback has been awesome. People are still emailing with their best pieces of advice.

Anyway, since it's a quote book, I thought this week's podcast would include some of the stories and originations behind those quotations.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Sorry about the delay on the Today Show. It'll happen. You know that crazy TV industry...


What was your best 2005 holiday memory?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Year In Email, 2005

You get a LOT of emails. Maybe even a few hundred per week. And while you do your best to read, reply and consider each of the messages as they come in, there is no doubt you've forgotten or missed a few over the past year.

So, here's a great exercise called "The Year In Email, 2005."

Go to your Inbox. Sort all of your emails according to the Sender, so it's easier to read. Then make your way through the entire alphabet. Now, if you have a few thousand emails, this will take some time. I just finished myself, and it took about 40 minutes. However, in my search I discoverd:

  • At least 10 leads I missed
  • Dozens of emails that I never replied to
  • Several people I needed to catch up with
  • A few emails that made me laugh out loud
  • Many messages I'd simply forgotten about

    Hey, it's the end of the year. The holidays are here. People are vacationing left and right. So other than getting together your '06 goals and plans, you probably don't have a LOT to do. So I'd recommend this exercise. You never know what you might find.


    How many emails do you get per week?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
  • Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    I heart my job, what about you?

    This is very exciting. My new buttons just came in the mail from! (Check out their site if you haven't already.) Anyway, I enclosed a button in each of my 2005 Holiday cards.

    And while I was mailing them yesterday, I starting thinking about the magnitude of such a small item...

    Let's say you wore a pin like this to a meeting, conference, trade show, sales call, walking down the street or simply around the office. Possible reactions might include:

  • "Why do you love your job?" a stranger asks.
  • "So, what do YOU do?" inquires someone at your table.
  • "Hey, I love my job too! Can I have a button?" asks your coworker.
  • "I am so glad to be working with someone who loves his job," thinks your client.
  • "You know, this is the kind of company I would like to work with," thinks your potential client.
  • "Hmm...look at her button. I love my job. Wow. She's lucky. Wish I could say that. Maybe someday I will..." a kid on the bus wonders.
  • "Barb, look! That's SO cool! He loves his job. See, that's why I like shopping here ..." a customer says to his wife.

    So, not unlike a nametag, this button would encourage approachability. (By the way, check out an amended version of The Approachability Philosophy.)

    Therefore, what I purpose is the following:

  • If you love your job and would like me to send you one of these buttons, please send $1.00 and a self-addressed stamped envelope to this address
  • If you choose to wear this pin, observe and record people's reactions and email them to me
  • As they come in, I will post your stories on this blog

    I'm proud to wake up every morning and say, "I love my job!" So I think this is a beautiful message to send to the world; both as a reminder to the people who love their jobs, and also as an inspiration to the people who hope to do so in the future.


    Why do you love your job?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
  • Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    Don't you just LOVE the smell of used books?

    Last weekend I spent a few days in Cincy to see some old college friends. On Saturday my friend Phil and I passed this building on the way to lunch. "Wow, five floors of books! We HAVE to go there!" I said.

    So, after lunch we entered into quite possibly the greatest bookstore known to man: The Ohio Book Store. Cincinnati's oldest, since 1941.

    According to owner Jim Fallon, it carried over 300,000 items. And it looked like a warehouse probably because it WAS a warehouse. Not to mention, it reeked of that authentic, unmistakable used bookstore smell.

    (Inhale...) AHHHHHHH...!

    That's nice.

    We strolled around all five floors, checking out some of the most random, unusual and out of print titles one could imagine:

  • The Who's Who of Cincinnati, 1947
  • A Complete History of Aerobics
  • Guide to Minor Hand Injuries

    On the third floor we noticed a wall of magazines that spanned at least 100 feet. When we realized every single issue had a yellow binding, there was no doubt which publication it was: National Geographic. From 1920-1986.


    Did you know they didn't start including pictures on the covers until the mid 60's?

    On the fourth floor Phil noticed a high shelf with dozens of whiskey boxes full of books. We wondered if they were for sale, storage, or possibly titles that never "made the cut" onto the racks. At the checkout, Jim gave us the back story on the books: "Yeah, those books were ordered by some guy from P & G about 30 years ago. I guess he never came to pick them up!"

    When I asked how much the order was for, Jim said, "Well, some books are sold for a buck; while others go for 50,000! So it's hard to tell. But it's no big deal; after all, this place is a labor of love!"

    * * * *

    The Ohio Book Store doesn't do much advertising. It's not exactly the cleanest place around, nor is it located in the best part of town. But Phil and I spent 2 hours there. It was the best part about my vacation. I bought $60 worth of used books and postcards. And you can bet that every time I come back in town, I'm going there! And why? Because it was an experience. Because it was cool. Because I am a huge fan.


    What's the one store you just LOVE to go back to? Why?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
  • Monday, December 19, 2005

    Holy Mochachino! Starbucks actually blew me away for a change

    Although I've been to hundreds of Starbucks in my life, last weekend's visit was the single most unique and memorable experience I've ever had. It happened at the Louisville, KY store. (972 Baxter Avenue, to be exact.)

    When my friend Laine and I arrived at the counter, one of the employees asked, "Do you know you're still wearing a nametag?"

    "Yep, I always wear it to make people friendlier and more approachable."

    He chuckled and said, "No, seriously. Why are you REALLY wearing that?"

    I looked to my friend and said, "Laine, am I telling the truth?"

    "Yeah, he actually wears that thing all the time," she said.

    "1,870 days to be exact."

    "Oh, so you're a numbers guy too, huh?" he replied.

    "No, not really. My website has a counter. I couldn't keep track of that many days!"

    "Wait a minute...what?"

    "I'm an author and a speaker. Here...take one of my cards," I said as I reached into my pocket, "to prove I'm not BS-ing you."

    He examined the card as he continued to laugh. "So Scott, what kind of stuff do you write and speak about?"


    "Wow! That's great. Yeah, we actually have 'nametags' for our customers at this store. People donate a small amount of money to get their own mug with their name on it. It encourages repeat business and helps raise money for charity."

    "That's awesome! I've never heard of a Starbucks doing that before," I said. "Hey, can I get a mug with my nametag on it?"

    "Sure. Let me grab a blank one for you."

    He hung it up on the Wall O' Mugs, I snapped the photo and then we formally introduced ourselves. "Good to meet you, Scott. I'm Nick Murphy. I manage this store."

    "Nice to meet ya, Nick. Can I post this picture on my blog next week?"

    "YES! Yes you can!" he urged.

    A while later, Laine and I finished our drinks and decided to call it a night. Before heading out, I went back to the counter to say goodbye to Nick. And after a hearty handshake he asked, "Hey Scott, do you want to take your new mug back to St. Louis?"

    "No way man...keep it on the wall for when I come back."

    * * * *

    See, this is exactly what I've been talking about for the past month. It's a perfect example of doing something cool, bringing customers back and creating fans. Way to go Nick.


    What's your most memorable Starbucks moment?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    Making your brand approachable via word of mouth

    Do you have your tickets for WOMMA's Word of Mouth Basic Training Conference?

    It takes place on January 19-20, 2006, in Orlando Florida at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. It's the biggest word of mouth event ever! The program includes experts, case studies, how-to's and of course, networking. Also, I have the great honor of sharing the stage with Bob Garfield, Don Peppers and Fred Reichheld.

    If you can't make it out to Orlando, no worries. I'll be talking about professional approachability, namely, how make your brand approachable via word of mouth. Here's a brief outline of my speech, as published on WOMMA's blog.


    How do you get people talking about your stuff?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005

    You know, I always wanted to write a book...

    About a year ago I read an article from USA Today that stated: "8 out of every 10 Americans want to write a book; but less that ONE will actually do it."

    Sound about right?

    Well, think about it: how many people (yourself included) have ever said, "I would love to write a book someday!" My guess is, a lot. And after being involved with the St. Louis Publishers Association for the past few years; as well as authoring a few books myself, allow me to explain why people think this way:

    1) They don't think anyone will read their book
    2) They don't know how to start writing their book
    3) They don't have enough time to keep writing their book
    3) They don't possess the discipline to finish their book

    Due in part to these reasons, people end up NOT writing their books. Which is a shame, because I know there are some amazing books out there just waiting to be written and shared with the world. And speaking from experience, let me say this: there is no greater smell than that first copy off the printing press; no better sense of accomplishment than to hold your own book in your hand; and no funnier moment than reading through that book only to discover how many typo's you overlooked - yet NOT caring because that baby is DONE!!

    Remember, you don't have to be great to get started; but you have to get started to be great. So hey, if you wanna write a book - do it. Now. The only person standing in your way is the author.


    When you write your book, what will it be about?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    So, What Do YOU Do?

    Elevator speeches. 60 Second Commercials. 30 Second Commercials. Personal Introductions. Networking Introductions. Defining Statements. Positioning Statements.

    Ahhhhhhhhhh! Which one do you use? And when? And with whom?

    Tough question. Especially because since the early 90’s, tens of thousands of articles, books, manuals and guides have been written on the topic of networking. And all of them address various techniques on how to answer the question: “So, what do you do?”

    To put it in perspective, consider these results from a recent Google search:

    *30 Second Commercial – 135,000 pages
    *Elevator Speech – 128,000 pages
    *Positioning Statement – 106,740 pages
    *60 Second Commercial – 33,500 pages
    *Defining Statement – 26,000
    *Personal Introduction – 3,600 pages

    Wow. Overwhelming, huh? Makes you wonder which one is right! Still, each of these techniques is some variety of your Networking Introduction. Unfortunately, it won’t come out the way all the books and articles say it will. It’s doubtful you’ll ever tell someone what you do in an elevator; you’ll probably never have exactly 30 or 60 seconds to do so; and the odds of you explaining it the same way each time are highly unlikely.

    In REAL networking, you’ll be rushed, caught off guard and asked unexpected questions. You’ll meet people on busses and in bathrooms. You’ll address three strangers at a time, get interrupted mid-commercial, and sometimes, you won’t get a chance to say a single word until the last five seconds of a conversation. And all the while, you won’t have time to decide whether or not you should give your Elevator Speech, 30 Second Commercial or Defining Statement!

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you there.

    But it’s true. Networking is unpredictable. And yet, we depend on it for the growth of our careers. According to a 2004 report from the Federal Bureau of Labor, 70% of our new business comes from some sort of networking. So, rather than put additional pressure on yourself by worrying about how many seconds you have, here are some key points for an effective, concise and memorable Networking Introduction.


    So, what do YOU do?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Scott's Approachability Quiz in Cosmo hits the magazine racks!

    This was my first time purchasing a copy of Cosmo Magazine. And I gotta say, it was kinda awkward. Especially because it was 10:30 PM and I was flipping through the pages in the middle of the store like a maniac, eagerly trying to locate the quiz. Luckily nobody else was in there.

    When I approached the desk I lugged 10 copies of the January issue onto the counter. The cashier looked at me oddly and said, "So Scott...are these Christmas gifts?"

    "No," I laughed. "I actually helped write 'The Quiz' on page 122."

    Then she looked at me even more oddly.

    Whatever. This quiz is awesome. And for all you ladies out there (namely, those ages 16-25), pick up a copy and find out how approachable you are. Also, now that I think about it, guys could still benefit from reading this issue. There's a lot of great stuff in there which is still applicable to men.

    Except the question about underwear. Yikes.

    Here's page 1 with the quiz:

    Here's page 2 with your scorecard:

    You can also take the quiz online @


    If you could only subscribe to one magazine for the rest of your life, which would it be?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Thursday, December 08, 2005

    HELLO, my name is Podcast - Episode 1: The Power of Cool

    Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later - I have officially jumped onto the Podcast Bandwagon! Thanks to some help from my friend, colleague and fellow podcaster Bob Baker, the first episode of "HELLO, my name is Podcast" is now available for download, streaming and XML subscription.

    For those of you who are new to this technology (like me), here's how you can tune in:

  • You can list LIVE on this blog. (See flash player below)
  • Listen LIVE on (All future episodes will be archived here)
  • Download past, present and future podcasts as MP3 files via XML on Itunes. (Read super simple directions on how to do this here.)

    HELLO, my name is Podcast - Episode #1: The Power of Cool
    Customers love, remember and spread the word about companies, ideas and products that are COOL.


    When was the last time you said, "That is SO cool!"?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
  • Inspired High School Student Starts Wearing A Nametag

    Every summer I lead a workshop for YPO's Junior Leadership University in Leysin, Switzerland. This year I met a lot of awesome kids, some of whom are pictured above. One student, Cam Scheible (bottom row, first on the left), recently IM'ed me with some great news. Since the beginning of the school year, Cam has actually been wearing a nametag every day at school! What's more, the school paper did a story on him! Check out this article written by fellow high school student Caitlin Sherril:

    You all have seen that crazy kid walking down the hallways with a name tag saying "Hello, my name is Cam." No, he did not forget to take of his name tag after a convention, but he does it on purpose everyday! To many he is just some weird guy who wears a name tag, but I inquired about the mind behind the name tag.

    "It's really not my idea," says Cam Scheible, junior, "I went to a summer camp and this guy named Scott said he had been wearing one for a couple of years now. As we all learned to say in unison, 'It makes people friendlier and more approachable.'"

    Yet some may not see the method to his madness, teachers have overall thought that it is an inspiring idea. Senora Juarez says, "It seems to make students more comfortable in the class room, especially him. When we have shadows come in it makes them feel very welcome."

    So put on a smile as he walks your way, because all he's doing is trying to make you 'friendlier and more approachable'!

    "Thanks for the inspiration," Scheible said. "I have only gotten one person to join me wearing name tags, but I'm going for more!"

    Well...while I have never in five years encouraged any or all people to wear nametags, I gotta say: way to go Cam!


    Seriously: would you actually consider wearing a nametag all the time?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    FREE EBOOK! 66 Priceless Pieces of Business Advice I Couldn't Live Without

    A few months ago I sat down with all of my highlighted books, notes, seminar handouts, favorite quotations, classic one-liners and all other priceless pieces of business advice that have accumulated over the past 5 years.

    Originally, it started out as a brainstorming exercise in which I wrote 100 pieces of business advice on 100 Post It Notes as a "Wall of Motivation." I ended up liking it so much that I took the "best of" and wrote a quote book.

    This quote book is a free download AND my holiday gift to the world!

    66 Priceless Pieces of Business Advice I Couldn't Live Without

    So, as the holiday season gets under way, from all of us at Front Porch Productions (by which I mean me and my dogs) I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Joyful Kwanza and Fantastic Festivus.


    What's the most priceless piece of business advice you've ever received?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    Every word is a seed that scatters

    The latest word of mouth marketing book, Grapevine, by Dave Balter & John Butman, has some awesome stuff. Check it out:

    "Everybody talks about products and services, and they talk about them all the time. Word of mouth is NOT about identifying a small subgroup of highly influential or well-connected people to talk up a product or service. It's not about mavens or bees or celebrities or people with specialist knowledge. It's about everybody."

    "80 percent of word of mouth marketing happens real time; real people talking to each other in the real word."

    "People are always influenced more by other people than they are by everything else."

    That first excerpt struck a chord with me: it's about everybody.

    I love that part.

    It reminds me of a song lyric by one of my heroes, Glen Phillips:

    "There is nothing that doesn't matter. Every word is a seed that scatters. Everything matters."


    What's your best word of mouth marketing secret?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    How do you keep people coming back?

    In late 2002 my website went live. My webmaster, Chad Kouse, asked me an important question: do you want to include a counter at the bottom of each page?

    And I thought, "Does anyone really care how many thousands of people have viewed my site?" Probably not.

    But then I thought about McDonald's. You see, when I was a kid, every Sunday my Grampa would take my brother, cousins and I to McDonald's for breakfast. It was our favorite tradition. And every week the best part about our trip was pulling into the parking lot, looking up at that enormous yellow and red sign and wondering, "Hey, let's see what the 'number of people served' is NOW!"

    Do you remember when McDonald's used to do this? As a kid, it was the coolest thing. I remember when it was 70 million, 89 million, 100 million, and eventually, a billion! (Obviously, McDonald's has now served more people than can fit on a sign.)

    Ok, back to the website. So in 2002, I thought that in the spirit of the McCounter, I would come up with MY OWN way to bring people back. Something different from any other site on the web. So Chad and I came up with this:

    Now, keep in mind that in August of 2002, my streak was somewhere around 700 days wearing a nametag. But having that daily-increasing number at the bottom of every page served many purposes.

    First of all, interviewers from TV, radio and print could cite the "number of days wearing a nametag." This added a sense of credibility AND remarkability to their stories.

    Next, I would use that number in my daily nametag-related conversations in two ways. First, when I'd explain the back story, i.e., "875 days ago..." it would enhance the believability of my story. And secondly, when people would ask, "Hey Scott, how many days is it now...?" I'd simply throw out a quick number like '906.' And most people were amazed, although some of them thought I was Rainman.

    Yeah. Definitely 906.

    Lastly, it helped develop word of mouth online, first from people who blogged or linked to the site. It seemed to make their posts more interesting (and clickable) when they put a specific number of days by them. And then WOM developed from people who would start coming back to the site on a regular basis thinking, "I wonder how many days it's been NOW!"

    The key is: this is a number that brings people back. And it's been working well for 3 years. So whether you have a store, and organization or a website, you've gotta find a way to bring people back. You've gotta keep them interested, intrigued and wondering to themselves, "I wonder what they're up to NOW?"


    How do you keep people coming back?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    People really don't think this tattoo is real

    I've only had this nametag tattoo for a month. (Compliments of Joe Reinke from Iron Age Studio.)

    But I've been keeping record of the reactions from people. Interestingly enough, just like the reactions from wearing my regular nametag, the tattooed nametag elicits several types of responses:

    Most people just start cracking up. They tend to be friends of mine who've heard about the tattoo, known me for years, and aren't surprised (yet still slightly shocked) that I would actually do it.

    Phrases such as "That's awesome!" "No way!" and "It's about time!" have been commonplace. I usually reply with, "Yep. I did it. Believe it."

    I've had approximately 18 people drop their jaws and say "Holy sh*t!"

    Funny - a lot of people think it's fake. "Is that a Sharpie?!" they'd say. And I think the reason for this is because, tough as it is to admit, who the hell would tattoo a nametag on their chest? I suppose some people think it's SO ridiculous, that it just couldn't be real. But my response is, "Well, it's about as real as my commitment."


    How did people react to your tattoo?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    Is your idea simple enough that a five year old could understand it?

    Every year I return to my alma matter, Green Trails Elementary School, to speak at their annual Book Fair. For an entire week they bring in local authors, athletes and educators to talk about the importance of reading and writing.

    It was a riot. First I gave all the kids nametags. Then I read one of my favorite children's books, Yay, You. I also spent some time talking about how I wrote my own books, and closed the session by letting the kindergarteners ask questions. Now, most of the kids forgot their questions by the time I called on them. Which was adorable. But one student named Daniel asked, "Scott, do you wear your nametag in the shower?"

    I just grinned as I thought about my new tattoo. But alas, it was not appropriate to show it to the kids. So I just smiled and said, "Yes I do."

    The entire class busted out laughing! It was priceless. And you gotta wonder if the kids knew that I was serious.

    Anyway, the next day I received an email from one of the students' fathers. It read:

    "My youngest son, Daniel, came home from kindergarten class and said that he wanted to wear his 'Hello, My Name is Daniel' nametag in the shower. When I told him it would probably wash off, we settled for wearing it to bed on his PJ’s. We then went to your web site and viewed the video clip, and he said, 'That’s him. He told us how he wore a nametag to make people friendlier and he writes books and gives speeches! He’s cool.'


    Is your idea simple enough that a five year old could understand it?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Believe It Or Not, Wearing A Nametag Secured Me Spot In Ripley's

    In the middle of dinner last night, an old friend from high school stopped by my table to say hello. After we caught up for a few minutes Adam said, "You know Scott, I was just reading about you the other day."

    "Really?" I said. "What were you reading?"

    "Ripley's Believe It Or Not."

    "What?! Ripley's? Get the hell outta here!"

    "Oh yeah, it's in there. I just bought it. You should go check it out."

    Less than three minutes later, I found myself in the new releases section of my local Borders. I grabbed the latest edition of Ripley's Believe It Or Not called Planet Eccentric. Then I flipped to the index under the letter "G."

    And that's when I saw it:

    Ginsberg, Scott, 23

    NO WAY.

    I voraciously turned the pages to the "Off The Wall" section. And on the left-hand side was a small paragraph which read:

    * * * *
    Sense of Identity
    Scott Ginsberg, of St. Louis, Illinois, has worn a nametag every day since November 2, 2000, just to find out what would happen. He now works with people who want to become more approachable - and says that wearing nametags is a great start.

    Now, here's the funny part: I've applied and been rejected by Guinness Book TWICE. (Read my rejection letter here.) Meanwhile, Ripley's never called me; I never went through the submission process - I knew nothing about this!

    So maybe that's why the editors screwed up my home state. Because I live in St. Louis, MISSOURI; not St. Louis, ILLINOIS. And for those of you not familiar with the area, (East) St. Louis, Illinois is home of dozens of all night dance/strip clubs and the highest crime rate in the United States. Not exactly my kind of town.

    So believe it or not, Ripley's doesn't check their facts. ;)

    Anyway, I scanned page 23 so you can view the entry here.

    Still, I think the funniest part about this whole thing is the entry right next to mine. It's a picture of a guy named Leo Kongee of Pittsburgh who is know as "The Painless Wonder" because he can drive as many as 60 nails into his nose without feeling any discomfort.

    In which case, I think it's safe to say: I've arrived.


    What's the most unbelievable thing you've ever seen?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Elevator Button Promotes Ad Agency's Approachability

    On the way up to my mastermind meeting at The Hughes Group this morning, I noticed something unique in the elevator. There were 18 floor buttons, but one of them didn't have a number on it. Rather, it simply said: HUGHES.

    (Good thing, because I'd completely spaced out on the floor of my meeting!)

    Later on the way out, my friend Andy Masters made a comment about how the labeled floor light was a great front porch for The Hughes Group. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized how effective this button was in respect to professional approachability.

    In the midst of 17 other vaguely numbered floor lights, only ONE had a name. Only ONE was personable. And so, the button made clients (or guests) feel comfortable by easing the commonly felt pain of, "Oh darn it, what floor was my meeting on again?!"

    It's all about the little things.


    How does your office make clients & guests feel comfortable?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Credibility comes from specificity

    Which of these sentences sounds more credible?

  • They say Xbox 360’s are selling like hotcakes
  • I read an article on this morning that said Microsoft planned to sell 3 million Xbox 360’s within 90 days of today’s launch. Here’s the link.

    There’s a simple reason #2 is the obvious choice: credibility comes from specificity. And when people fail to be specific in their communication – both interpersonally and en masse – other people won’t listen. For example, think about the last time you heard someone say one of the following phrases followed by a “fact”:

    Oh really? They did? Well, who’s they? The media? The bloggers? Your parents? A group of kids you overheard at Starbucks?

    I HEARD…
    You did? When? Where? From whom? And did you actually “hear” it on the radio from, say, Paul Harvey, or did you just read it somewhere?

    Really? He did? Well, can I trust him? Does he have a PhD? Is he usually right? Should I email him to confirm?

    Whose research? Did you do it? Was it from a University? Or did you just watch an interivew on CNN and quote someone else who said, "Research proves..."?

    You get the point.

    I’ve been publishing books, articles and blogs for the past three years now. And I have no choice but to be specific in my facts or examples, for several reasons. First of all, my editors would kill me. Secondly, my readers wouldn’t believe me. Lastly, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself as a professional if I used phrases like “they say.”

    And it’s not just in print, too. As a professional speaker, one of the first and most valuable lessons I learned was “On stage, credibility comes from specificity.”

    Here's my favorite example. I have this thing about remembering dates. Seriously, it’s Rain Man-esque. And I’m not sure why, but I can remember the date of every concert I’ve attended, every speech I’ve given and every city I’ve visited.

    But dates have an amazing power to help your customers (or audience members, as it were) connect with your story, fact or example. And that is what builds their confidence in your credibility as a trustworthy, authentic and approachable communicator.


    What are the three most important dates in your company's timeline?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
  • Monday, November 21, 2005

    Brand Origins: The First Mass Email I Ever Wrote

    I started writing HELLO, my name is Scott during my senior year of college at Miami University. And since I was a marketing major, I like to think I applied some of my knowledge...

    So, as graduation drew close, I began collecting emails. LOTS of emails. And not just the addresses of my close friends with whom I wanted to stay in touch, but every classmate, casual acquaintance, radio station coworker, professor, random dude who always saw me walking to my capstone, and the like. I told them I promised to drop them a line as soon as the book was done.

    Now, that was three years ago. And just last night, I stumbled upon a listserve from Miami University that actually posted my original mass email to all of my college friends, thanks to my old friend Eric Fox.

    See, this is why I love Google.

    But it was the first mass email I ever wrote. (And it wasn't a very good one, I might add.) But as the 5 Year Anniversary Celebration continues, and as I think about everything that's happened since 2002, it's fascinating to go back and see the origin of an idea and, subsequently, how its brand evolved.


    How has your brand evolved in the past three years?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    What word do you own?

    In Al Ries’s famous book, 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, he explains that if you want to build a brand, you must “focus your branding efforts on owning a word in the prospect's mind. A word that nobody else owns.”

    I couldn't agree more. But it wasn't until October 20th that it all came full circle:

    “Yes, Mr. Ginsberg, I’m one of the editors of Cosmopolitan Magazine. I’d like to set up an interview with you for an upcoming piece. Please call me back at the following number...”

    When I returned her call, she enthusiastically replied, “Oh great! I’m so glad you got right back to me – my deadline is tomorrow!”

    “So, what can I do for you?” I asked.

    “Well, have you ever seen those little ‘quizzes’ that Cosmo runs every month?”

    “Oh, right. My girlfriend used to take those things in college.” I replied.

    “Exactly! Well, as the editor of the section, it’s my job to seek out experts to help create those quizzes. And in our upcoming issue for January 2006, we’ll be running a quiz called ‘How Approachable Are You?’”

    “Reeeeeealy,” I said.

    “Yes. And in my research for possible contributors, I went on Amazon to search for books about approachability. And guess what? Your book was the first and only title that came up! So, we’d like for YOU to write the quiz. After all, you are the expert. Would you be interested?”

    Um, are you kidding?! Me, write a quiz for one of the most widely read publications in the world?! I thought.

    “Yes. Yes I would,” I said.


    (Check out the full article on word ownership.)


    What word do you own?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    So, HOW old are you again?

    I had the opportunity to share the stage with three excellent St. Louis authors yesterday. Fellow panelists included Harry Samuels, Art Shamsky and Leslie Savan.

    Once the speech was over, we moved into the bookstore for a signing. And as usual, every person that approached me asked the same question most people pose after hearing me speak:
    Scott, HOW old are you again?

    You know, it's funny. After nearly 100 speeches in the past three years, I've never NOT been asked this question by an audience member. (By the way, I'm 25.) And it used to be intimidating because most of my audience members were at least 10-15 years my senior.

    But I'll never forget July 26th, 2005. I was watching the sunrise in the middle of the Swiss Alps at 5:00 AM, four hours prior to my annual workshop at JLU's Youth Leadership University in Leysin, Switzerland. I was reading Positive Thinking Every Day by Norman Vincent Peale. And the passage for the day was this: "It's not how many years you've been around; it's what you've accomplished during those years that really matters."


    How do you deal with age differences in your job?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    How to give your staff PERMISSION to talk to you

    Every once in a while I meet audience members who point out something so insanely obvious; I wonder how in the heck I missed it.

    Ah, the wisdom of curbside observers.

    “Yes sir,” I said as a hand shot up.

    “Well, it’s not really a question, but more of a comment,” the man from the audience explained.

    Everyone turned their heads towards the back of the room as the man said, “You know why I like this whole nametag idea? Because it’s like you’re giving people PERMISSION to talk to you.”

    The room fell silent.

    Wow. Five years I’d been wearing a nametag 24-7, and that word never occurred to me. Permission. I liked it! And in the next few days, I realized why the word PERMISSION was so essential to approachability and communication. (See the 5 Pillars of Approachability.)

    Some people would rather jump off a cliff than talk to a stranger. They’re shy, introverted, scared, uncertain, don’t know what to say and have a fear of being judged by others. So, this means they will not approach you, or feel comfortable being approached by you, unless permission is granted.

    The easiest way to give permission is to smile. It’s the simplest front porch known to man. According to Irving Goffman, the father of social psychology, “a smile is the number one indicator that conversation is desirable.” And it might sound incredibly obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t understand the value of smiling as it pertains to giving permission.

    Like my old boss, David, the Front of the House Manager at a hotel where I used to work. He was one of those ex-military types that stared people down with his eerie green eyes until they ultimately averted their gaze and allowed him to take control of the conversation. And I swear to God, he never smiled. You could crack the funniest joke in the world, and, NOTHING!

    I’m not even sure if he had teeth.

    Anyway, because David didn’t smile, he wasn’t giving his staff permission to talk to him. Because he wasn’t giving permission, he wasn’t approachable. And as a result, our team lacked open, effective communication. For example, I once had a problem with my hours, namely that I was working 54 of them in one week as a part time employee! But I never felt comfortable coming to David with my problem because he was just THAT unapproachable. My thought was: I’d rather suck it up and work overtime than have a conversation with this jerk.

    That’s how unapproachable he was.

    But that only made things worse. And as the problem remained hidden from my immediate manager, it escalated. I ended up working eight out of the next nine days in a row (remember, I was a part timer!) and ultimately became so upset that I just lost it. That ultimately resulted in my resignation from the position.

    Because he never gave me permission to approach him.


    How do you give people permission to talk to you?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Fans, Not Customers

    I’ve been to 97 concerts in my lifetime. I know this because every ticket stub of every show I’ve ever seen since I was 12 lay under a sheet of glass on my coffee table. Some of the stubs are signed by my favorite musicians; some are tattered and torn from the pouring rain through which I stood and sung for hours. Some of the tickets aren’t even tickets! They’re napkins or flyers I stole from the venue because I just HAD to get a memento from every event.

    And each day when I look at those faded pieces of cardstock, I don’t just think about some of the greatest memories of my life.

    I think about being a fan.

    A fan who would stop at nothing to watch his favorite bands play live - even if he’d already seen them 8 times before; even if he had to drive three hours each way; even if he had to skip school to wait in line to get tickets; and even if it meant staying out all night and failing his marketing exam the next morning.

    Because that’s what fans do.

    But does the term “fan” ONLY refer to a music lover, sports enthusiast or dedicated follower of a performing art? What about business?

    Let’s ask Webster. It defines a fan as an “enthusiastic devotee or an ardent admirer or enthusiast." They also have related words for fan like: addict, aficionado, buff, bug, devotee, enthusiast, fanatic, fancier, fiend, freak, lover, maniac, nut, groupie; admirer, collector, connoisseur, dilettante; authority, expert; cultist, disciple, follower, votary; backer, patron, promoter, supporter; partisan, zealot; booster, rooter and well-wisher.

    Aha! Interesting. So it isn’t just painted faces and screaming audience members; it’s simply someone who “loves your stuff.” For example, maybe someone’s been to your website before. Bought your products before. Worked with your people before. Stayed at your hotel before.

    Then one day they come to you and say, “You know, I just LOVE your stuff.”

    If you ever hear those beautiful words come out of your customer’s mouth, congratulations - you have a fan. And fans are the most important people in your business.

    Fans are better than customers because they’re devoted to you and your company. They stick with you and come back for more. And most importantly, they tell all their friends to do the same.

    So the question is: how can companies create and keep their fans? Well, since the term “fan” is most often associated with music, let’s look at four great musical performers and bands – and see what they do.

    FAN CLUB RULE #1: Fans crave an experience.
    (See B.B. King)
    FAN CLUB RULE #2: Fans will stick with you.
    (See Dave Matthews Band)
    FAN CLUB RULE #3: Fans will go to the ends of the earth for you.
    (See The Stones)
    FAN CLUB RULE #4: Fans don’t need to be sold.
    (See U2)

    The business world is obsessed with the word “customer.” In fact, if you type in the word "customer," 174,906 books come up. And if you type in the word "fan," 5,418 books come up.

    My opinion? Customers, schmustomers. You need fans. Fans are people who will do your marketing for you, encourage and support everything you do, and most importantly, tell all their friends to step onto your front porch and become fans of yours too.

    That reminds me: I was recently contacted by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) to give the keynote address at their 2006 convention. Right before signing the contract, I asked my newly acquired client an important question, “Why me?”

    And do you know what he said?

    “I love your stuff.”


    How do you create and keep your fans?

    * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    An idea a day keeps the unemployment office away!

    Since August of 2000, Idea-A-Day has published 1,910 ideas contributed by people around the world. I just stumbled upon this site on a Google search, and I think it's probably the coolest website I've ever seen. Here's today's idea, contributed by John Kappa:

    DAY 1,910: Install an indoor switch near the exit of homes, offices and other buildings which turns off all lights and appliances. Certain devices, such as clocks and alarms, might be programmed to remain switched on.

    The best part is, YOU could contribute your own idea! I already sent in my own. So go check it out!


    What's your idea today?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Hey Scott, how do you write your books and speeches?

    I'm frequently asked by audience members, readers, friends, family members and strangers alike, "Scott, how do you write your books and speeches?" (Click the image to look closer!)

    It's a method I've been using for about three years. Actually, I have no idea what it's called. For the sake of this post, I'll just call it "The Ginsberg Method." Anyway, I'm not sure where I came up with it, but it's a combination of about a dozen different creativity techniques I've picked up over the years. The meat of the process is: I scatter dozens (sometimes hundreds!) of notecards, articles, mindmaps and other pieces of content on the floor. I crank up the music, sit my butt on the carpet, stare and wait. (The multi-colored notecards are more effective than white ones because bright pinks, yellows, reds and blues stimulate the brain.)

    At first it's intimidating because everything is in complete disarry. But then I remember what I learned from Roger von Oech: "The mind is a self-organizing tool." So, after a few minutes, the various pieces of my content to come together on their own. Usually I move around the room, stand above the cards, look at the floor from different angles and lay on my back - anything to gain new perspective. But it's actually really cool because it always seems to work. After all, it's worked for two books, hundreds of speeches and articles and pretty much anything else I've created in the past three years. What's more, once the pieces come together, the outline of the project is set. From there, the rest is a piece of cake.

    Now, this might not be the appropriate method to apply to your business projects. Your boss might think you're crazy if he sees you working on the floor all day. But hey, this system works for me. Well, it works for my brain, I should say. So I hope you have way that works for you and your brain, too. Because there is no greater discovery than when you learn how to harness the creativity of your own mind.


    What's your creative system?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    It's a great day to be a tiger!

    Whew! It's the end of a long week. I just finished up at the annual Sherrard School District Health Fair. I kicked off the program by talking to the 5th and 6th graders of Matherville Intermediate School. The kids were awesome! One of them (pictured to the left) asked if I would autograph his VOTE FOR PEDRO t-shirt. I have no idea why. But I hope his mom isn't mad at me, because I used a Sharpie.

    Anyway, the students asked some great questions after the speech. I wanted to post them along with my answers:

    Scott, how long did it take you to write your two books?

    HELLO, my name is Scott took one year; The Power of Approachability took eight months.

    Scott, what's your favorite game on XBOX?

    Tiger Woods Golf 2005

    Scott, are you good at real golf?

    Used to be. Now I suck.

    Scott, what advice do you have for aspiring authors?

    1) Write every day, 2) Read every day, and 3) Don't be afraid to show your work to other people

    Scott, how can someone who is scared of speaking in front of others get better?

    Practice. Everyone needs to practice. Even the professionals. For example, I was practicing this morning at 5 AM in my hotel room at the Holiday Inn Express.

    Scott, are you rich because of your books?

    No. Actually, the outfit I wore during my speech was a rental.


    Is there a question I can answer for you?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Maybe I'm taking this whole "personal branding" thing too seriously

    Well, I did it. After years of wussing-out, I finally did it. And it hurt like a sunavabitch! Anyone who tells you "Oh, tattoos don't hurt," is a liar. It was like getting 1000 shots in 45 minutes.

    Anyway, special thanks to Joe @ Iron Age Studio who did a PERFECT job; my friend Andy Masters who cheered me on the whole time; and the friendly crew from the Today Show who managed to record the entire painful session on tape. Great. Can't wait to show that one to the kids some day.

    Hey, it's cool. The pain is over. BUT, throughout the entire process, these were the words running through my head:


    You know what? I'm SO glad I did it. There's no turning back baby.


    What are you dedicated to?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Watch Scott on the Today Show

    It has begun...

    (I always wanted to start a blog post that way.) Anyway, great news! I'll be on The NBC Today Show next week celebrating the 5 Year Nametag Anniversary.

    (Learn more about the month-long celebration here.)

    The taping date is still TBA, but the reason I'm telling everyone ahead of time is because NBC is sending a camera crew to follow me around all day WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND. THAT'S TODAY!! They're putting together a "Day In The Life" piece for next week's show.

    For those of you in St. Louis who'd like come out and show your support, join us for lunch outside at:

    Keiner Plaza in Downtown St. Louis @ Market Street and Broadway from 11:30-1:30.

    We're going to get lots of people together to eat lunch, talk, hang out, have fun and show the world what approachability really looks like. It's going to be a blast! (Nametags will be provided for all.)

    So if you'd like to come out, please come and show your support! And if you can't make it, email everyone you know in St. Louis who can.


    Got plans for lunch today?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    The 5 Year celebration begins today!

    Woo hoo!!! Today is day 1,826. It's been FIVE YEARS, and the Nametag Anniversary Celebration is underway! It goes on all month!

    Now, as November begins, I'll be posting (hopefully) every day for the next month with lots of great stuff like:

    Sign up for the Building Front Porches mailing list to be the first to find out what happens next!


    Is life beautiful or WHAT?!

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    Halloween is the greatest holiday of the year

    Halloween is a very special holiday for me. Not just because of the candy or the crazy costumes; but because it's the only day of the year when I actually change my nametag!

    In the past I've been Randy, Jerry and Jo-Jo. And the last two years I went as a nametag wearing gorilla named Harry. But this year I thought I'd bump up the creativity a notch or two. So, here's the costume I wore all weekend. (Click to enlarge)


    What's the best Halloween costume you saw in 2005?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Friday, October 28, 2005

    101.1 The River's Lifestyle Guide Helps Listeners BEYOND The Airways

    After many years of being a loyal listener to 101.1 The River (WVRV St. Louis), I've teamed up with their Lifestyle Guide to create a new section called "Your Network."

    This is SO cool. Very few radio stations do stuff life this. It's an online resource for the latest tips, trends and news that you can use to be on top of your game. When they approached me to contribute some articles, 101.1 said they wanted to "Add more value for their listeners beyond the airways."

    Wow. It certainly makes the listeners feel like the station actually cares about their well being!

    The four sections are Your Health, Your Life, Your Space, and of course, Your Network. In the latter, learn valuable techniques to help you in your day-to-day encounters at work and beyond.

    Rock on.


    Does your radio station care about you this much?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    QREATIVITY: Revolutionary Ideas Come from Ridiculous Questions

    Every creative business idea begins with a question.

    A question that grabs attention. A question that might sound ridiculous at the time. A question that propels a wrecking ball through the walls of ordinary thinking. But still, a question that makes every person in the room stop what he’s doing, sit back in his chair, stare off into space and say, “Huh. Now that’s an interesting idea...”

    QREATIVITY is creating something out of nothing by asking BIG questions.

    This idea of question-based creativity has evolved through centuries of study from around the world. “One who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever,” says the ancient Chinese proverb. In the same light, E.E. Cummings once said, “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.” And Voltaire is famous for his words, “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

    However, in the last few hundred years, other creative powerhouses like Einstein, Edison and De Bono went on to perfect question-based creativity with various techniques and experiments still used by businesspeople around the world.

    But sometimes, businesspeople need to ask bigger questions. Questions that push an ideas to their very limits. Questions reminiscent to Kant’s Universalized Maxim which states “Act as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a universal law of nature."

    In other words: what if everybody did it?

    Here are some excellent examples of businesspeople - some of whom became businesspeople unexpectedly - because they asked universalized questions to spark their QREATIVITY.

    What if I met everyone who shared my same name?

    What if I always said yes to everybody and everything?

    What if everybody wore their Lee jeans on the same day?

    What if everybody in Seattle read the same book?


    What BIG question could you ask today to spark your QREATIVITY?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    USA Today recommends nametags for small business marketing

    Author, speaker and columnist Steve Strauss, aka Mr. All Biz, had a great article in USA Today called Marketing pays, so keep it up.

    "A trap many entrepreneurs fall into, myself included on occasion, is turning to the tried and true too often. While the tried and true is comfortable, it also typically yields predictable results.

    So if you want your business to grow, you need to mix things up sometimes. New marketing tricks can create new results. Here are a few of my favorite, inexpensive strategies..."


    What's your favorite inexpensive marketing technique?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    After two years, Portland is still weird, wet and in walking distance

    So I FINALLY got back to the ol' stomping grounds of Portland to visit my friends, eat real sushi and reminisce about the early days of nametagging. Ah yes, what a great weekend it was! It all started on a high note in the St. Louis airport on Thursday night when I got a phone call that made me want to drive over to Jeff Bezos' house and give him a big fat kiss.

    "I'm one of the editors at Cosmopolitan magazine," the woman said, "and we often seek out experts to help create our monthly quizzes. Our upcoming quiz in January's issue will be about approachability, and according to, you're the only person who's written a book on it! I'd love your expert opinion on some question ideas."

    Long story short: after several hours of online research (yes, I took a bunch of Cosmo quizzes, shut up!) and an hour conversation with the editor the next day, we put together an awesome approachability quiz due out in a few months! Hopefully as 2006 begins, legions of twentysomething women around the country will get more digits.

    Hey, I do what I can to make a difference.

    Next I met a woman on the plane who worked for Wrigley, as in, The Gum People. And if there was ever a reason to talk to strangers more often, she was it. Deb and I had the most fascinating conversation about gum styles, flavors and preferences. She even gave me three packs of Orbit samples for my trip. Sweet.

    Most of the weekend was spent hanging out with my peeps from OHSU and walking around the city. I even stopped by the Crystal Ballroom to have lunch with my pal Tony Shatter, famous guitar player of Portland's The Punk Group. Another highlight was a conversation I overheard on The Max between a drunk, aging hippie and a young mother who argued the difference between "eccentric" and "crazy."

    "My friends used to call me 'Eccentric William,' but I think what they meant was 'Crazy Bill,'" the man said.

    "Nah...'eccentric' just means 'crazy' but with money and style."

    God I love Portland.


    Ever been to Portland? Whaddaya think of it?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    You are NOT wearing two nametags

    Call me crazy, but I love going to the post office. I'm there about three times a week to mail books, check my box, and sometimes just to talk to my girls who work behind the counter. They're so sweet. They all wear nametags. And Val usually has a candy dish.

    Hey, it's all about the little things.

    Yesterday I stopped in to mail an order of books to Amazon. Mable called #76 and motioned me to her counter. She looked at my nametag and said, "Now Scott, why you wearin' that nametag? You workin' with kids or sumthin'?"

    "No, I just wear it to make people friendlier," I replied.

    "Oh, I thought you were at work or something."

    "Well, technically I am. But I still just wear it for fun!"

    What happened next is probably one of my all-time favorite things to do to people. I usually wear a blazer or jacket every day; that way when people don't believe I really wear a nametag all the time, I open up my coat and show them the back-up nametag on my shirt. It's both funny and necessary to show that I mean business.

    "Well Mable, maybe this will clear things up..."

    "Oh-my-goodness!" Mable laughed. "You are NOT wearing two nametags Scott!"

    "That's right."

    "Val! Did you see this boy wearin' two nametags?"

    "Oh yeah," Val laughed, "That's Scott. He crazy."

    Yes. Yes I am.


    In what unique way do you show people that "you mean business"?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    McDonald's Doesn't Sell Hamburgers

    I'm sitting in McDonald's right now, which is a rarity for me. I only eat here about twice a year. In fact, I'm not even eating today - I'm just waiting for the mechanic to finish my car across the street.

    Anyway, the article I'm working on this week is about creativity. It's about great ideas. It's about those magical moments when you stop in your tracks, notice something cool and exclaim "Now THAT'S a great idea!"

    As I pound away on my laptop and rock out to Chris Whitley's fantastic new album, I realize that I can still hear the ear piercing scream of an unhappy child from across the room. I try to ignore it, but this child just doesn't stop! He must be mad at someone. I dunno, maybe his mother made him eat McGriddles.

    I take a break to stretch my legs. When I return from the bathroom I notice a large red machine by the main entrance to the store. Oh yeah, I remember, McDonald's now rents new release DVD's for a buck!

    And then it hit me like a ton of hash browns: McDonald's doesn't sell hamburgers. They never have. Because while I stared at the McDVD rental machine, still listening to the sounds of that annoying, protesting McChild, I realized what McDonald's does sell.


    It's not about the food. It's certainly not the ambiance. It's about shutting the kids up. That's why parents love McDonald's so much. it any surprise that McDonald's now rents MOVIES for your kids to watch in the DVD player of the SUV while chowing down on delicious happy meals?!

    Now THAT'S a great idea!


    When was the last time you said "Now THAT'S a great idea!"?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Talking to 'Invisible' People

    In I found a great article from (Today's Top Law Enforcement News.) And no, I don't usually ready this publication, as I am not a police officer. However, check out the full text or read some of these excerpts about police officers and how they approach certain types of individuals:

    You know who they are. They are the homeless wandering the alleyways mumbling. They are the preachers on the street corners declaring they are Jesus Christ. They are the “invisible” people the public ignores, but as law enforcement officers you must see them. You are their guardians. You are their protectors.

    Communication begins with the non-verbal cues given in the officer’s approach. Murphy suggests standing with an open posture squarely in front of the individual. “If a person is anxious, you want to put him at ease by standing with your hands forward in front of you, and lean in slightly to talk to him,” says Murphy. “This says that you are an accessible person who is willing to listen.”

    Andriukaitis also suggests standing with elbows tucked toward the waist with hands outstretched so the arms and hands partially cover equipment on the duty belt. This makes the officer look more approachable.

    Because most people respond favorably to their name, Webb instructs officers to use the individual’s name to help him focus on the officer as opposed to the other voices he may be hearing in his head.

    “A lot of the skills officers learn in this training are basic communication and active listening skills,” he continues. “Those skills can be applied in almost any situation an officer finds himself. We don’t use our firearm every day. We don’t get in high-speed pursuits every day. We don’t use our defensive tactics every day. But we communicate every day.”

    Effective communication — with all types of people — makes the officer’s job safer and more proactive. As Murphy says, “It’s much easier to talk somebody into something than force him into it.” Being able to talk to the invisible man means being able to communicate with every man.


    What types of individuals are the most difficult (or easiest) to approach?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    New Online Assessment Measures Your Approachability

    In a recent post I shared a new system called The Approachability Indicator. This graphical model depicted the seven areas, dual channels and five emotional results of maximum approachability.

    However, the big question still remained: "Yeah, but how can I tell how approachable I really am?"

    Well friends, here's your answer: take this new assessment to find out your Approachability Quotient. Good luck!


    What's your AQ score?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    You're such a show off...and I LIKE it!

    Meet my new friend Scott Jones, CSO. (That stands for Chief Show Officer.)

    "The problem is that every one of your competitors is doing his or her best to make an equally good first impression. So what's the answer? It's simple - Show Off!" says Jones.

    His company, Show Off Cards, offers a one of a kind business card that lets the real you - or at least a supercharged version of you - shine through. Check out his website now. It's SOOOOOOOOOOO cool.

    Here are some other Show Offs:

    And now, I propose a toast to being UNFORGETTABLE. Here's to you, Chief Show Officer.


    How are you UNFORGETTABLE?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag