We are back with our annual selection of the best Super Bowl Commercial.
Speak For Yourself® picks our favorite commercial each year. Why? To learn best ways to get YOUR message across without paying over $LVIII,000,000. (the 30-second spot + talent + production).
This year Dunkin Donuts’ ‘The DunKings’ commercial wins.
Use this list of DunKing strategies for your next board presentation, zoom meeting or project review all modeled in this commercial.
1️⃣ Clarity. Many of the ads tried too hard and became disjointed. You could not figure out what they were selling till the last second. Our DunKing ad reveals the product up front. From the first to the last expensive nano-second you see the Dunkin’ logo and/or the company brand colors.
🏈 Note to you: Are you using your logo and brand colors everywhere, from your digital presence to your merchandise?
2️⃣ Self-deprecating humor. Our well-known cast, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Brady, Jack Harlow, Jennifer Lopez, & Fat Joe make fun of themselves throughout this ad. Look at their outfits!
🏈 Note to you: Laugh at yourself – it makes you more approachable. We will then want to listen to you.
3️⃣ Call to Action. Affleck tells Damon as they walk away, “Chill. They’re naming a new drink after us”. A new product is born at Dunkin’ Donuts! In other commercials you had to really search for the product and its relevance.
🏈 Note to you: End your emails, presentations and meetings asking for what you want. Include “next steps.” Move the conversation forward.
4️⃣ BONUS TIdbit – According to CNN, “Part of the deal to get Affleck on board was Dunkin’ making a sizable donation to his nonprofit.”
🏈 Note to you: Have integrity. It will show up even if you don’t advertise it.
Your LVIII-million dollar communication takeaways ➜
Be clear about who you are, what you want, and what you are pitching. Be consistent with your branding. And find the humor.
Congrats to all of you who get recognized by your peers.
Last night my cousin Neal received just such an award from the Northern TX PGA of America. My husband, Jim, and I proudly attend the President’s Dinner at a beautiful golf country club (of course!) and I have the chance to observe 16 award presentations.
Yep – 16 acceptance speeches, each being around 4-5 minutes! You do the math.
Don’t think “How boring can you get”! These guys do a great job and I stayed engaged even though I know nothing about them or their accolades.
What makes Acceptance Speeches work
My cousin Neal receiving the Byron Nelson Award
🎤 Brevity. My cousin Neal begins his acceptance speech saying, “I didn’t have my glasses on when I read the instructions … I think the PGA wants me to speak for 4 to 5 minutes or 45 minutes!” He laughs. We laugh. And thankfully Neal sticks to the guidelines. Remember this adage, “Be brief, be gay, be gone.”
🎤 Authenticity – being true to your own personality, values, and spirit. I stay engaged for the entire evening because each awardee speaks from his truths. The superintendent award winner is overwhelmed as he shares with joy and honesty, “Thank you so much for including us in your award banquet. We aren’t the golfers, we keep the grounds, grass and fairways ready so you can golf. I love ‘my’ golf country club. We have trouble sometimes with the creek that runs through it, but that’s not our fault!”
🎤 Inclusivity. What to include … you ask? First: Context about the award itself and the group that bestows the award on you. Second: People you wish to thank. Write every name down. Yes, even your partner’s name! One guy almost forgot to thank his wife!
What to avoid when receiving an award
❌ Winging it – No notes! No prep! No good! You’ll go long on tangents and short on what you really want to convey.
❌ Digitizing it – reading your speech from your iPad or phone. OK – You’re going to push back on this. Many of you rely on your digital notes, and when it works you’re golden. But you’ve also encountered times when your battery dies, the brightness of the screen fades, or the scrolling causes you to lose your place. Please bring your notes, on paper, in a font size you can see. (Better to be old-fashioned then lose your train of thought which did happen to one of the PGA awardees.)
🎤 If you don’t want to accept an award because you hate the thought of giving one of these speeches, call us! Happy to help you become comfortable receiving recognition you deserve.
You might guess that I’d advise you to prepare for speaking opportunities by analyzing your audience’s needs and how to get their buy-in, figuring out your main points, support material and & stories, and sharing your call to action.
All true but not weird!
Our weirdest advice
Do the 7 to 1 Exercise.
What is this?
Lift your right arm and shake your arm while projecting your voice louder than usual and say each number descending from 7 to 1, “7,6,5,4,3,2,1”. Put your right arm down.
Lift your left arm and repeat. Put your left arm down.
Lift your right leg and shake your foot in the air while smiling and saying loudly each number descending from 7 to 1. Put your right leg down.
Lift your left leg and repeat.
Do this all again (right arm – then left arm – then right foot – then left foot) starting with 6 down to 1. Then again starting with 5 to 1, 4 to 1, 3 to 1, 2 to 1, and then 1 wave of your right arm, 1 wave or your left arm, 1 kick of your right foot and one final kick of your left foot.
Remember to smile and project your voice at all times during this routine.
OR … click on the 90-second video in this blog and watch this exercise in action!
When do you do this?
Do this exercise ahead of your speaking opportunity in the privacy of your hotel room or office.
Why do you want to do this?!
You warm up your voice, body, face and brain cells. You have to think about what number you’re on, while you smile, project and balance your body. AND… you’ll channel your extra adrenaline (those sneaky nerve-racking butterflies) in a positive direction.
I learned this great exercise when I took improv classes. We did this routine before every performance. I still do this 7 to 1 exercise before any speaking engagement and I’ve taught it to all my clients. You may think you look like an idiot but you’re training your face, voice and body to look natural and strong.
My handsome husband, Jim, and I wish you a happy new year and a fulfilling year ahead! 🥂 🎉
Time to reveal our ’23 Communication Best-Of List – guaranteed to boost your communication skills even more in ’24.
#1 🎤 Communication Habit: Find the humor.
Even during drama-filled times and situations – funny stuff happens. Keep notes on this “you cannot believe what just happened” truths. Use this material in your conversations/presentations.
#2 🎤 Communication Habit: Ask questions.
You will be forced to listen more and you’ll learn more than if you’re doing all the talking.
#3 🎤 Communication Habit: Read more.
Fiction or non-fiction – you’ll gain insights and become even more articulate. Even a trashy novel can provide examples of how to use dialog, plot development, and what makes for a good story.
#4 🎤 Communication Habit: Reflect on your positive communication experiences in ’23.
You do a great job of remembering in exquisite detail when you think you’ve failed at running that meeting, or facilitating the board discussion, or giving a speech to your shareholders. Think back on when you rocked on your platforms. Not only will this make you feel great – but it has a positive rollover effect on your future gigs.
#5 🎤 Communication Habit: Write more.
Practice writing short and clear emails, articles, reports and posts.
Confession: I began writing this blog series … kicking and screaming. Now I realize it’s been one of my best communication habits. Writing makes you a better communicator. I am forced to observe with purpose… all the time… constantly mining for good info and stories.
#5 ½ 🎤 Communication Habit: Empower by praising others.
It’s a complicated world, made just a little bit easier if you can find something positive to say to the next person in line at the grocery store or to anyone in your personal and professional arenas. You’ll make their day. So give someone a specific and sincere compliment today.
YOU are the reason this blog exists. Thank you for your support and comments directly on this blog or in my email box. See you in 2024.
You’re wasting crucial digital real estate with weak email openers.
Don’t state the obvious. Especially in your first sentence.
You’re thinking, “That IS obvious. Why would I start an email with info my audience already knows? I don’t do this.”
But, you do.
Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, the president of a small business, or writing your annual holiday letter to friends/family/clients … you’re starting your emails with this: “As the year draws to a close, we reflect on the challenges…”
Can’t argue with that sentiment, but is this Non-Newsflash the way you want to gain your audiences’ attention? Hint: you’re NOT!
Our finger is itching to smash the Delete Key before we even read your second non-helpful line, “To be honest, this hasn’t been the year we had planned.”*
Your #1 clue:
✅ Lead with your need.
❌ Do NOT state the obvious. (And please stop saying “to be honest”! Is everything else you write/say dishonest?!)
Your BONUS CLUE:
✅ Start your emails with the word “You” or “Your” and make your info about your reader. Ex: read the first line of this blog!
❌ “I wanted to follow up with you about…” 😬😬😬
You can do better!
*Source: we won’t reveal it! This sentence is verbatim from a city-wide newsletter we received.
You’re headed into this holiday season. You’ll probably encounter extended family and friends. Your conversations will start with small talk, defined as “polite and standard conversation about unimportant things.”
While small talk might seem trivial, it can net big benefits – around the holiday table and in your various business settings.
This initial type of conversation can help drive richer connections by finding common interests while also demonstrating empathy. At the very least you’ll gain more insights about the other person.
Abrahams defines these two types of responses. “Tell me more” is a support response. You are supporting what the other person says. You are inviting the other person to keep expressing themselves. You are winning the gold medal of active listening.
“Shift responses” create the opposite outcome. You shift away from the other person and hook back to your own agenda. In essence, you hijack the conversation.
Example: “We really had a rough travel day! Got stuck in Chicago for 3 hours and missed the connection at DFW.”
Support response: “Tell me more.”
Shift response: “You think that was bad, one time we were going to JFK but landed in Philadelphia because JFK flooded!”
You might have a great story about your JFK/Philly calamity but you’ve shut down the other person.
Other “support responses”
In addition to the best response, “tell me more”, other support responses include asking more questions about the details of the event or the emotions around the event. “What happened next?” or “Did that make you go crazy?” or “How did you handle that?”
When to use “shift responses”
You don’t want to sound like you’re doing a legal deposition either! There does come a time to share your own anecdotes and experiences. Give and take conversations create more meaningful encounters.
So, as you head into the holiday season remember that information talks and wisdom listens. Use more “support responses”.