Friday, September 29, 2006

Emerging Marketers Event Tuesday September 26th 2006 Perth

There's no doubt the future of marketing as a profession looks bright in my home town of Perth. Nearly 60 aspiring marketers turned out for an Australian Marketing Institite 'Emerging Marketers' event on networking and public speaking. Sharing the platform with Ron Gibson from Go Networking was good - but even better was meeting everyone.

As a professional speaker I love sharing my passion for public speaking with younger people. As Ron Gibson said at the event - speaking is the best way to network because it cracks the twin nuts of 'credibility and visibility'.

Congratulations to Olivia Nolan who won the door prize of my latest book Understanding Influence For Leaders At All Levels.

If you missed out on the book, you can order a copy through my website

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Why Bindi Irwin's Brilliant Tribute Speech To Her Croc Hunter Dad Moved The World

By Thomas Murrell MBA CSP, International Business Speaker

A good speech is a mark of great respect. Especially when it's about a loved one who died in tragic circumstances.

How to write and deliver a Eulogy, a formal speech delivered at a funeral in praise of the deceased, is a rare skill indeed.

In fact it is the most difficult speech you will ever have to write and present.

Why did 8-year old Bindi Irwin do so well? What secret formula did she use to receive a standing ovation by the 5,500 people attending Steve Irwin's tribute at Australia Zoo's 'Crocoseum'.

Televised internationally and watched by more than 300 million people it was very moving. Yet young Bindi was very confident and composed.

Steve Irwin's business partner John Stainton claims she had written it on her own.

"A survey in the magazine New Idea shows 93 per cent of readers believe Bindi should follow her father's wildlife crusades as the next 'Crocodile Huntress'", is a line quoted in recent media reports.

"Eight-year-old Bindi Irwin will, in its September issue, be the youngest person to appear on the front cover of New Idea in the magazine's 104-year history," shouts the popular magazine.

Bindi's becoming hot media property, but because of her tribute speech's honesty, authenticity and expression of how she felt, it moved millions.

The 'Crocodile Hunter' legacy will live forever because of that speech.

Here's word for word why it worked and the seven principles you can apply if you ever have to write and deliver a eulogy or tribute speech:

1. Be Yourself

Authenticity is the new credo in this over-hyped, crowded, information-overloaded world.

"I have the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day," still brings a tear to my eye every time I read it.

2. Remember Life's Achievements and Legacy

Focus on the awards, the recognition and what was achieved.

"I know that Daddy had an important job. He was working to change the world so that everybody would love wildlife like he did."

"He built a hospital to help animals and he bought lots of land to give animals a safe place to live."

3. Make A Memorable Statement

Everyone, including the media, loves the 'seven second sound-bite'. It's the words we remember.

"My Daddy was my hero" was the key quotable quote that made the headlines.

Here it is in full context:

"My Daddy was my hero - he was always there for me when I needed him."

4. Tell A Personal Story

Personal stories provide the human, emotional link. Make it visual and full of active 'doing words'.

"He took me and my brother and my mum with him all the time. We filmed together, caught crocodiles together and loved being in the bush together."

5. Spirit

These are the anecdotes and memories that capture the true essence or spirit of a person. Linked with a call to action it becomes a powerful connector to your audience.

"When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals."

"I don't want Daddy's passion to ever end."

"I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did."

6. Provide Humour & Keep Positive

"He listened to me and taught me so many things but most of all he was fun."

Humour can provide levity in a sad situation. It is the pressure valve for our emotions. Always focus on the positives. Again a call to action provides a rallying point for the audience as this final quote from Bindi's speech proves.

"Daddy made this place his whole life and now it's our turn to help Daddy."

7. Keep It Brief

Bindi's speech was just 183 words in length and was one minute and seven seconds in duration. It was less than a page, took just over a minute to deliver and yet it will be remembered forever.

So will Bindi be "as big as the Olsen twins" as her manager claims and surpass even her father, Steve Irwin in the fame game?

Well, you're probably thinking, those seven principles are good and I can use them in my next speech.

But why was she so confident, calm and composed?

Here's the real secret. Professional educators will tell you it takes 10-hours of quality one to one instruction and more than 400 hours of practice for an eight-year old to learn a new skill.

Bindi Irwin has passed those milestones in front of a camera and crowd many, many times over because of the way she has been brought up.

While most eight-year olds are still learning to read and write, Bindi's home study tuition was truly unique and this is the real reason. While the context is new, the process is a well honed one and she's done it all before many, many times.

Sometimes it takes the innocence of an 8-year old to express how you feel in a clear and understandable way.

Whether you are an 18 or 80 year old, we can all learn from Bindi's wonderful tribute speech.

Want to use this article for your newsletter, eZine or website? The contents of this eZine may be copied, reproduced, or freely distributed for all purposes without the consent of the author as long as the author's name, copyright notice and contact information are included.

© 2006 8M Media & Communications. All rights reserved worldwide.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why The World Loved The Steve Irwin Personal Brand

By Thomas Murrell MBA CSP, International Business Speaker

'Crikey', the khaki shirt and the boundless enthusiasm.

Steve Irwin created the most well known international personal brand of any Australian.

Now that he is dead at 44 years of age, his personal brand will live on forever.

Why? Because he has been the most successful Australian ever to create and manage a unique, memorable and authentic public persona.

The 'Crocodile Hunter' has achieved enormous personal and professional success and status in a mere 14 years because of his marketing wizardry.

He's touched the lives of many millions and at a business level has been one of Australia's greatest exports.

BRW Magazine estimates his annual earnings at A$16 million a year with his programs being seen by more than 500 million viewers in 130 countries.

At his peak, BRW estimated earnings of $15 million from sales of TV programs, $1 million from advertising appearances and $300,000 from merchandise sales.

The magazine reports his $US12 million movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course took US$33 at box office.

So what can we learn from the Steve Irwin marketing and business legacy?

1) Visibility

Irwin understood the power of the media in public image making. He and his business partner John Stainton didn't worry about a small regional market like Australia. They went straight to the large US markets via the influential TV network Discovery Channel and the Animal Planet Channel.

This is why Irwin was bigger in the US than in Australia.

2) Multichannel Platform

Irwin did it all seamlessly - books, magazines, merchandise, TV programs, Hollywood movies, media appearances, and personal presentations at Australia Zoo.

They all worked together to create momentum.

3) Authenticity

Irwin was 'the real deal'. While Australia's highest grossing movie 'Crocodile Dundee' was pure drama, Irwin was real and provided dramatic reality.

4) Drive, Passion, Energy and Enthusiasm

In an interview published in the book Guinness World Records 2006 Irwin was asked "How would somebody follow in your footsteps?" Here's his answer:

"If you want to become a zoologist you've got to do all the tertiary education, but don't lose your passion or enthusiasm despite the hard work or homework you have to do. Just follow through. Passion and enthusiasm will get you everywhere you want to go in the world."

Irwin was living proof of this principle.

He could answer with laser-like precision the question:"Who are you and what do you do well that other people will respect you and reward you for?"

5) Find A Cause

Irwin was an advocate for nature and the environment. He called himself a "wildlife warrior". His voice on this issue was loud and clear.

6) Memorable and Distinctive Point of Difference

There are hundreds of TV wildlife presenters. Irwin was different. He was very clever in selecting or inventing a distinct combination of factors that became a unique point of difference to competitors.

The three critical elements were:

Wardrobe: khaki shorts and shirt
Language: crikey, down to earth, simple
Danger and drama: he actually handled live animals

7) Aussie Larrikin Archetype

Irwin was able to define and then become a social type that resonated to mass audiences across the world.

He was the living Aussie Larrikin Archetype and everyone could relate to this idealised and lovable 'hero/larrikin/father' figure. Irwin built this through the media. Because the media deliver huge audiences, Irwin was able to humanise and symbolise complex stories and issues through this archetype. This was central to his personal brand.

8) Consistency

Irwin understood the fact that it is more important to be clear and consistent than original. Symbolism is very powerful. So even when scuba diving he wore that khaki uniform. It was wacky but it worked.

9) Controversy

Irwin was never far from it. It built his visibility despite the risks.

10) Family Values

Protecting the family is the world's number one value. It is a universal truism. Irwin was an outstanding family man and perhaps this will be his greatest legacy.

Want to improve your personal brand?

Wednesday November 8th, WA Club, Perth.
Powerful and Persuasive Speechwriting will help provide a guide to increasing your visibility through public speaking.
Details here.

Small class sizes ensure everyone gets personalised attention in a safe learning environment.

This program is also available in house for your organisation at a date, time and location that suits you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


As MC with guest speaker Andrew Wallace.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Five Ways To Improve The Accuracy of Your Media Releases

By Thomas Murrell MBA CSP, International Business Speaker

It is so easy to do. A small typo. But it can have big consequences. Especially if it is in your media release.

It can cause millions in lost sales, damage your reputation forever and cost you political elections.

Just take the case of Western Australia's last state election. A missing zero in a media release on the costing of a water canal development just days before the election most certainly contributed to a loss of voter confidence at a critical time.

Even seasoned professionals can make mistakes. So what can you do to prevent costly and embarrasing errors?

If you follow these five easy steps you'll never have to take chances with media releases again.

1) Get It Right First Time

Whatever your original source of information is, always get it right first time. Incorrect information will just be repeated. In your news release and then by the media.

2) Print It Out Hardcopy

Because we read electrons on a screen and not ink, we skim read, blink more, have less concentration and often overlook mistakes.

Print out a hard copy and read.

3) Double Check In The Release

Always double and triple check dates, numbers, contact details, and people's names once you've written the release.

4) Another Opinion

Always get someone else to read and re-read your release. A fresh set of eyes can often pick up mistakes and improve.

5) Sleep On It

Sometimes we get so close to something that we skim over. Putting a release down for a period of time or even sleeping on it can provide a fresh perspective.