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Presenting Your Personal Brand

My mother gets nervous when she goes shopping; too many choices, and it's all too overwhelming. Me, I'm the opposite. I love a well organized, colorful isle with options galore. I am fascinated by product labels, and the thought-process behind the illustration on the can or box.

Ok, I know this sounds weird, but I can't get enough of the vitamin and soap isles: the smells, the layouts, vibrant labels, the craftsmanship of the products; I can spend minutes in this part of the store alone.

Oh, and the drink, liquor and beer sections too, for obvious reasons (glug), and fun artistry of the labels and intricate product stories. Take for example a product called Liquid Death (below). Despite how vicious it sounds, it's mountain water: no favor, no color, no alcohol, just water. I saw this on the shelves at Whole Foods and after reading the back label story, I had to buy it. Here's a teaser:

“Our proprietary Thirst Murdering™ process begins with Liquid Death forming a rope of veins that will wrap around your Thirst’s head and strangle it. Once Liquid Death reaches your Thirst’s brain, all of your Thirst’s memories will be replaced with repeating loops of its own head imploding. Which is exactly what happens next by it causing your Thirst’s head to implode and its brain to squirt out of its ears.” And that's just the beginning.

Ok, it's just water, but with such HARDCORE fun, and it even got me into a little trouble. While reading the label at Whole Foods I snort laughed loudly, unintentionally scaring an older lady browsing squash spaghetti options next to me. I cracked the can open the moment I got to my car and took a long swig: it was good, cold, mountain water. I started up my car and headed just around the corner to run an errand, taking gulps from the can along the way, and pulled into a parking spot. Unawares, two cops were tailing me, one in a patrol car, one on a bicycle. The car flashed its lights and the bike pulled up along side the driver's side window. I rolled down my window. "Do you know why I pulled you over," said the bike cop. "Actually, no." I replied. The other officer made his way to the passenger side window, tapping on it indicating he wanted it down. I complied. "What's that in your hand?" said the officer on the passenger side with a disconcerting look. And there it was, clutched in my hand, the nearly empty can of Liquid Death. I loudly snort laughed again and showed them the can, explaining that it was just water but hilariously branded. The cops didn't think it was as funny as I did (they thought it was beer) and they told me to have a nice day and went about their day. When I got home later, I FaceTimed my older sister and dad, and a couple of friends, all who share my sense of humor, to share the the Liquid Death tale; they all snort laughed too.

That's the kind of experience I love from a brand: how it makes you feel, how playful it can be, and the story behind it. And that's how you should be thinking of your role as presenter: what story are you telling, through what experiences are you taking your audience, will they walk away affected.

Furthermore, just like the shelf at the grocery store, you can line up a variety of your speaking brands, to have a flavor for each occasion. Remember, no one event is the same, so your delivery needs customization per each specific opportunity. When the occasion calls for a more somber theme (a fundraiser for breast cancer or poverty awareness conference) you can deliver your message dressed up in a more serious tone, adding poignant stories or references to emphasize the said theme, and removing others that don't accomplish this. Conversely, if your presentation is part of a celebratory event (commencement or holiday gala), you can be more playful with your anecdotes and creative in how your frame your content. Your audio visual components too can bolster the appropriate mood.

Think about this from a brand giant's perspective like Kraft-Heinz Company. They know when you're heading to a barbeque, the ketchup, mustards, and relishes become the flavored stars of the the show and advertise such products and their stories likewise. However, if it's get something on the table so you're kids will be happy night, Kraft-Heinz knows their Macaroni and Cheese and Ore-Ida French fries steal the show. One brand with a variety of focused brands for the right moment. Similarly, hone your personal brand and tweak your presentation product.

More to come. Please visit my site for more inspiration and information:

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