Eat Your Heart Out Hitch! Try Silent Speed Dating with Liz Kelly

Shhhh…Silent Dating is the hot new dating trend that started in London – and is now moving across the US. Liz Kelly, Dating Coach and Author, is now hosting Silent Dating Parties where there is only one rule – No Talking Please!

This event coordinates with the release of her new book, Smart Man Hunting. Based on her dating and corporate communications expertise, Kelly explains, “Because 80% of communication is non-verbal, why not practice your body talk and meet new singles at a party?” Liz adds, “Silent Dating can significantly increase your dating numbers and love odds because people are bolder on index cards.” Singles will be pleasantly surprised by what can be communicated via silent scribbles, flirty text messages and body talk signals.

Liz also suggests the idea of writing your cell phone number on your nametag. Nice. Read the full press release here.

This Silent Dating thing sounds cool. I would definitely attend if the event if it came to my city. You know, for research purposes only 😉

But now that I think about it, I can’t imagine trying to explain on a notecard to a strange woman I just met that I wear a nametag 24-7 to make people friendlier. Maybe I’d just show her my nametag tattoo and smile.

Oh wait, the point is to actually GET a date. Right. Well, scratch that idea.


If you were participating in Silent Speed Dating, how would you tell someone that you fancy him or her?

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

What’s in a name? (Part Tres)

At least once a week, I receive an email, link or even a package in the mail with some type of nametag related paraphernalia, for which I’m always grateful. I mean, after all, who else would care so much about stuff like this?!

Recently, fellow speaker and friend Justin Driscoll sent me a very cool feature in the Pittsburgh City Paper called Game of the Name. I’ve included a few excerpts from the main page, plus several in-depth articles that continue to answer the question, “What’s in a name?”

“The more self-centered our culture has become, the harder it is to say who we really are. Even the most seemingly stable thing about us – our name – has become slippery, subject to endless change. Blame technology, if you want. It’s rarely been easier for the government to find out all about you, but our identities have also never been so easy to steal. The Internet lays bare our bank accounts and medical records, while chatrooms and MySpace allow us to pretend to be whomever we wish.”

“But it’s more than that. For generations we’ve been willing to sacrifice our names for love – increasingly, however, we’re willing to do it for our religion, or even for a few bucks. Some do it to reflect a change in who we are; others do so in an effort to bring that change about.”


  • Head Games – a name change can make life a lot easier, especially when your child is just ASKING for ridicule
  • Naming Rites – for many African Americans, a name change can liberate
  • A Conversation with tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE – yes, that’s his real name. Kind of reminds me of my old friend Chef Brother Luck, who works with my client, Hyatt Regency Hill Country.
  • Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! – local musicians navigate an age-old dilemma
  • Names for Sale? – prospects for selling naming rights have cooled


    If you could change your name to anyone (or anything), what would you choose?

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

  • You are what you read. Or eat. Or hang out with. Or experience. Or…whatever

    I’m not sure where this post is coming from, but recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole “You are what you…” type of comment.

    I listened to Wayne Dyer’s new book on tape while driving to Columbus, and he said some pretty powerful stuff.

    So, here are all the examples I’ve heard before:

    You are what you do consistently.
    You are what you believe.
    You are who you love.
    You are your experiences.
    You are your job.
    You are what you acquire.
    You are what you charge.
    You are what you wear.
    You are what you eat.
    You are what you watch on TV.
    You are what you do for a living.
    You are what other people say about you.
    You are what you think about most of the time.
    You are who you hang out with.
    You are what you listen to.

    My fav: You are the books you’ve read and the people you’ve met.


    How do you finish the sentence, “You are what you…”?

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

    Adventures in Nametagging: Buckeye Style

    I just returned from a four day trip to Ohio, part of which included delivering the keynote speech at the Association for Career and Technical Education conference. The name of their annual program was called “Communicate the Dream.”

    The speech went quite well, considering it was the first time I’d worked since my lung collapsed three weeks ago. Good thing I made it through without an oxygen tank! Also, since we were in Columbus, there were a lot of Ohio State Alumni in the audience. Now, I wasn’t looking to start any trouble, but since I mentioned Miami University a few times during my speech, it became a running joke for the next two days about which school was better.

    (Look, all I have to say is: Ben Roethlisberger.)

    Actually, funny story how I ended up working there. When I first began speaking (literally, one of the FIRST speeches I ever gave!) I met a woman named Susie Rutkowski. She’s the woman in the blue, standing up at the back left side of the table.

    When we met in 2003, we connected right away and hoped to work together in the future. Unfortunately, we had limited contact over the next few years. But to my delight, she dropped me a line a few months back looking for a speaker!

    Now, because ACTE’s conference was called “Communicate the Dream,” the staff went all out. The whole conference area was decorated with beds. They constantly blasted songs like “Dream Weaver,” which kept reminding me of that famous love scence from Wayne’s World.

    And of course, everyone wore pajamas. How cool is that? Check out these slippers!

    Met lots of awesome people. Starting with Zane, my youngest new friend. He grabbed the nametag off my lapel and started messing with it. Then, when I pulled a spare out of my wallet, he wanted that one too. What was I gonna do, NOT give it to him?

    So I just kept taking nametags out of my wallet and sticking them to his hands, arms and of course, on his face. He giggled incessently. It was the cutest damn thing I ever saw.

    Babies + Nametags = Good Times

    As usual, several audience members took it upon themselves to take their Scott’s Friend nametags and slide them inside their badge holders. It always cracks me up when people do this. And when I saw her walk past me, I jumped out from behind my book table, shouted, “Hey Scott’s Friend!” and she stopped by to let me snap this pic.

    On Friday I drove a few hours south of Columbus to meet with the University of Rio Grande to talk about doing summer/fall programming with their students. My friend Jamie asked if I wanted to see the historic Bob Evans Farm, (uh, yeah!) so we drove down the dirt road and ended up here.

    Wow. So that’s where all that sausage I ate during college came from.

    Now, although we didn’t have time to eat, we also stopped by this restaurant: it’s the ORIGINAL Bob Evans! Now, today, there are 585 locations in 19 states around the country.

    But I think it’s safe to say this location is the best one.

    Finally, on the way back to Cincinnati to see some old college friends, I passed through a town called, believe it or not, Shyville. I pulled over to get gas and snapped this picture. When I went inside to pay, I wondered how “shy” the town really was. So I tested it out.

    “Good morning ladies!” I said to the cashiers.

    “Mornin’,” one of them replied. “Do you know you’re still wearin’ your nametag?” she asked.

    “Oh yeah. I wear it all the time to make people friendlier. Sometimes two,” I said as I showed her my second layer.

    “Ha! It’s that bad, huh?” she asked.

    “Well, you know…people always forget names. I’m just trying to make it easier.”

    They both nodded. And right when I noticed that the second cashier wasn’t wearing a nametag, she said, “Yeah, I forgot my nametag today…”

    “Oh no! She’s fired!” I joked.

    She giggled and said, “I can tell you my name if you really want…”

    “Yes. What is your name?”


    “Well, it’s nice to meet you, Pamela. Thanks for the Slim Jims.”

    “Your welcome. And have a great day…Scott.

    God I love Ohio.


    What’s your favorite state?

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

    Hey! You’re the “No More Excuses Guy”!

    During a recent chapter meeting of the National Speakers Association, Sam Horn and Sam Silverstien riffed back and forth about branding, marketing, developing expertise, visibility and the like. During one particular rant, Sam #2 told the following story:

    “It was the night before a recent speaking engagement. I was checking in at the hotel when two women must have recognized me from the conference program.

    ‘Hey, aren’t you our speaker for tomorrow?’ they asked.

    ‘Oh, well, yeah – I’m Sam Silverstien. Nice to meet you!’

    ‘Yeah, yeah!’ they gleamed, “You’re the No More Excuses Guy!

    * * * *

    See, that’s exactly what I’m talkin’ about.

    That Guy: any businessPERSON, entrepreneur or service provider whose visibility, credibility, uniqueness, authenticity, memorability
    and approachability fuse together to form something so incredibly
    valuable, so incredibly cool; that customers not only magnetize to
    that person, but will actively tell all their friends about that person.

    Big props, Sam. Way to go. Way to be that guy. Way to be somebody who reminds everybody of nobody else.


    Do you know anyone who is “That Guy” (or “That Girl”)?

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

    What’s in a name? (Part Duex)

    Interesting article from Elliot Back about how people name their blogs. He quotes the Blogwise directory, which hosts a list of 33,810 blogs. According to Back, extracting the names of each blog from the directory itself took some work, but the results were quite fascinating. For example, the top word used in 9.986 percent of the blogs surveyed was “blog.” (Damn it. Guilty!) The next most popular at 2.619 percent was “life.”

    In a related story, I read a piece about airports changing their names to attract more customers. For example, about three years ago, the Savannah airport became the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Almost half its passengers go to Hilton Head, S.C., where there’s a smaller airport. Now, when people search Internet travel sites for Hilton Head and airport, the Savannah airport appears as an option.

    Veeeeeeery interesting. Even a business like an airport(!?) can actually become more approachable.

    Like, literally.

    Think about it: the word “approach” is an essential part of the aviation lexicon.

    But NOW, it’s not just about a customer landing; it’s about landing a customer.



    Is that cool, strategic, funny or just plain ol’ ironic?!

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

    After wearing a nametag 24-7 for 1,953 days, I’ve come to the conclusion that…

    …approximately 5% of people’s comments will be negative. Like this one…

    I sat down in Starbucks with a pile of receipts and my laptop. Yay! Expense account day! Anyway, an older man in a grey suit grabbed a seat next to me.

    He was one of those people who “self-narrated” his actions.

    You know these types. When they’re in public places – usually lines or crowded waiting spaces – they talk to themselves in a voice loud enough for surrounding company to hear; yet not actually directed at anyone in particular. (I don’t know why people do this.) The man said:

    “Let me just plug this cord in here…and stretch it out…get my cup of coffee…got the Blackberry out…alright, let’s get to work.”


    He looked over at me and said, “Expense account time, huh Scott?”

    “Yep. It’s the end of the month. Time to get the financials in order,” I replied.

    “So what’s with the nametag?”

    “Oh, I always wear it to make people friendlier.”

    “Ha ha ha! Yeah, right! Sure ya do…,” he said rather condescendingly.

    “Actually, I’m serious. Whaddaya think of this?” I asked as I opened up my jacket to show him back-up nametag # 2.

    He looked over and didn’t say a word.

    Hmmm…that usually gets a laugh. Or at least one of those “this-guy-is-out-of-his-mind-smiles.” Not sure if I like this guy’s attitude.

    He went back to work, as did I. Eventually he asked, “So Scott, what do you do?”

    “I’m an author and professional speaker.”

    “Yeah, well what do you speak and write about?”


    “Ooooh, approachability!” he joked with a sarcastic, jazz hands gesture, “Boy does THAT tell me a lot,” he laughed.

    Alright buddy. Now you’re startin to piss me off. Time to lay it down.

    I took a minute to explain what approachability meant and why wearing a nametag was a symbol of it. He seemed to be “getting it,” but his next smart ass response was, “But why would anyone want to come hear YOU speak if they didn’t want to be approached?”

    OK Scott. Deep breath. Just relax. Let’s help this guy understand…

    “First of all, I don’t do public seminars. Companies and associations hire me to speak to and train their staff. Secondly, approachability is a two way street. It’s not just about ‘being approached,” it’s also about ‘approaching’ others. Know what I’m sayin’?”

    “OK. I gotcha.”

    And that was pretty much the end of our conversation. He obviously had work to do, as did I. And he obviously didn’t care, nor did I feel like preaching to an atheist.

    I finished tallying my receipts about an hour later. As I packed up, I grabbed one of my business cards. (Often times I have to give them to strangers not for networking purposes, but rather for “this-guy-isn’t-bullshitting-you” purposes.) Which kind of sucks, but, I suppose it comes with the territory.

    “Well Bob, hope you have a good week. And here’s one of my cards, just so you know I’m not pullin’ your leg.”

    He read my card and said, “That guy with the nametag…ha! OK Scott, see ya around.”

    Yeah. See ya around.


    How do you handle the haters?

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

    On becoming your own adjective

    What do Quentin Tarentino, Bob Dylan and Seth Godin have in common?

    They’ve all become their own adjective. Think about it:

  • When you hear any folk song recorded after 1970, there’s always that faint trace of Bob Dylan’s influence in between the notes. And you think, “Hmm…this song has a Dylan-esque sound.”
  • When you watch a movie that has noticeably strange, slow dialogue and a non-linear plot structure, you comment, “Ah yes, very Tarentino-like.”
  • And when you see an advertisement, website or idea that’s so incredibly remarkable, so cool and so word-of-mouth-worthy, you smile and say, “Ha! That’s such a Seth Godin thing to do!”

    These individuals have become their own adjective because, over a period of years, their uniqueness, artistry, school of thought, talents, style, visibility, expertise and consistency have become so recognizable, so memorable and so prevalent in their respective industries that people actually begin to use their NAMES as adjectives which describe other things IN that industry.

    This is a fascinating personal branding phenomenon. The roots of the idea actually date back several decades ago when certain brands that were the first of their kind experienced something called genericide.

    Genericide is defined by WordSpy as, “The process by which a brand name becomes a generic name for an entire product category.”

    Take Trampoline, for example. Originally, it was the actual brand name for a fun, spring-like toy on which people could bounce up and down. But as its popularity grew, and as more and more companies created copycat products with different brand names; customers still referred to any other toy in the same category as a “trampoline.”

    And ultimately, the success of the product was the difference between Trampoline, the proper noun that was the brand name; and trampoline, the adjective of a certain kind of toy.

    One letter made all the difference. God I love the English language!

    Now, the list of brands associated with this phenomenon goes on and on. And while the topic of genericide has been researched in detail through notable products such as Kleenex, Scotch Tape and Rollerblade; the personal branding movement has slightly altered this concept.

    Because now, since YOU are the brand, since YOU are the company – YOU need to become your own adjective.

    Andrea O’Neill, Brand Strategist and Executive Marketing Coach, strongly believes in the power of becoming your own adjective. “It means you live your values, talents, tastes or style so passionately and openly that others know exactly what you stand for without needing to ask you,” says O’Neill, “…and if you express your passions honestly in your every day actions, those around you will know exactly where you stand.”

    Adjectivity first exists in the minds of the people you know best. O’Neill uses the example of clothing. “Have you ever walked through a department store, saw an outfit on display and said, ‘Oh, that dress is SO Mary’?”

    That’s because, in someone’s mind, “Mary” has become her own adjective.

    But we’re not talking about clothes. This is about marketing. It’s about top of mind awareness. Therefore, adjectivity must next exist in the minds of your customers, prospects and fans. So, as it relates to the 6 tenants of professional approachability; that is, MAGNETIZING more business to YOU, think of adjectivity in this way:

    Becoming your own adjective is like word ownership…raised to the 10th power.
    You don’t just own the word, you ARE the word.

    Becoming your own adjective is like being that guy…on marketing vitamins.
    You aren’t just that guy, you’re the STRONGEST guy.

    Becoming your own adjective is like telling your story…on the FRONT PAGE of the New York Times.
    And everyone’s reading it.

    Becoming your own adjective is like doing something cool…that instantly becomes the HOTTEST new trend.
    But it doesn’t fade away.

    Becoming your own adjective is like creating fans, not customers…who love your work SO much, they’d move heaven and earth to support you.
    Then they’d tell all their friends how great you are.

    But of course, this only happens when you market yourself daily. When you constantly put yourself, your ideas and your business out there for the world to see, all of which must be consistent with who you are, what you do and how you do it.

    That’s how you become your own adjective.

    In closing, I’d like to share a line from David McNally’s book, Be Your Own Brand:

    “Don’t STAND out, SHINE out. Don’t MEET the standard, SET the standard.”

    Yeah, I know. Closing an article with a quotation is such a “Tony Robbins” thing to do…(*wink*)


    Do you know anyone who is his or her own adjective?

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

  • Insert catchy post title *here*

    I’m about a week behind, which means I have a lot of thoughts, links and ideas that I wanted to knock out all in one post. Also, you might be wondering why you’re looking at a picture of a Canadian woman holding an enormous crab, right?

    I have no idea. I couldn’t think of an appropriate picture to include with today’s post. But when I came across that image, I just thought: man, that’s one big ass crab!

    Anyway, here’s what I got for ya on this stormy Monday:

    How to Tell A Great Story
    Aneeta Sundararaj from an organization in Malaysia called The Great Storytelling Network interviewed me about writing, speaking, storytelling and the like. Read the full text here.

    Email, Phone or In Person?
    Ron Ameln, fellow blogger, friend and my editor over at the St. Louis Small Business Monthly had a great post that referenced a survey which showed the preferred medium of communication for executives: email, phone or in person. Cool stuff. It reminds me about another article which explains that people are less likely to lie via email than the phone or in person.

    God Bless Old Folk
    I read an article last week – which I’m sorry to say I can’t seem to find the link for – that said the following:

    The more chronologically gifted (age) I get, the worse it comes to remembering names. Everyone should wear a name tag at all times. Or, when born, have their first name tattooed to their forehead. U.S. Rep. Jim Leach once advised, “When someone comes up and says, ‘You remember my name, don’t you?’ and you don’t, a good response is: ‘Of course, how could I forget a millionaire?’ ” I’ve used that one. It works!


    Dell The Staff I’m Busy
    And finally, this morning ANOTHER article popped up on my Google Alerts (keyword = unapproachable) about Michael Dell. It’s called 6 character traits essential to business integrity

    You know, it’s funny. I’ve been using Google Alerts for a while now, and almost every week, there’s something about Michael Dell and how he’s had various problems with approachability, according to several surveys from Dell employees. Interestingly enough, I’ve actually met people from Dell who’ve said that their Big Cheese’s lack of approachability isn’t exactly a myth. Interesting.


    What’s your best link, idea or thought of the day?

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

    What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday?

    This is a great question to ask someone you just met. I use it all the time. And you can learn a great deal about who that person is simply by throwing it out there. Now, for me, the answer is: going to Borders with a fully charged Ipod, grabbing about 35 books, sitting by the window, reading through every one of those books, taking notes, and then buying one or two of them.

    But that’s just me.

    Anyway, since I’m a bit of a quotophile, (hence the picture) I wanted to share a few great one-liners that struck a chord in my always-thinking-about-approachability mind:

    “Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.” —Dorothy Sarnoff

    “When people laugh at your jokes, they are involuntarily agreeing with your message.” —Jim Richardson

    “Communicate so that others can’t help but pay attention to you.” –Bo Diett

    “Everybody is somebody’s somebody.” —Jeffrey Fox

    Oh, and while we’re on the subject of “questions,” here’s a great article featuring Deborah Fine about the relationship between small talk, asking questions and approachability.


    What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday?

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

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