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Making Yourself Memorable with Your Auto-Responder on Email

Don’t you hate “out of the office” email responses? They are always the same.


 “I will be out of the office from This Date to That Date with limited time internet access. In case of an emergency, or any urgent issues, please feel free to contact XYZ.”

How NOT unique! Try these tips to make you memorable.

1)      Humanize the normally mechanical message.

2)     Make it funny.


Try something like this!

“I am currently out of the office on vacation.

I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return – but that’s not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to.

That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

  • If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it to interruptyourvacation@[redacted].com and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
  • If you think someone else at [the company] might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.

· Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return. Warm regards,


It’s hard to get annoyed. In fact, you can’t help but respect George.


Here are a couple more great examples!

I will be on vacation from Wednesday through Wednesday (inclusive), and will not be checking my e-mail. Seriously. I don’t even have a cell phone with e-mail capabilities.

Please do not panic, stampede or otherwise become fretful. There are other [department] minions available to do your nefarious bidding; make them work while I’m out of town goofing off. If you would prefer to receive extremely belated technical assistance, I will be back next Thursday.

Please Note: Larger denomination bribes and/or larger quantities of canned goods or other non-perishable (but tasty) food items will receive priority treatment.”



“Your fearless leader is out of the office today, but has left his trusted henchmen to watch you carefully. They are instructed to respond to any questions in the usual slow, evasive and ineffectual manner. And for those who do not trust the answers, watch for them on ‘Jeopardy’ this evening.”


Obviously, different types of messages are appropriate for different work settings. Knowing your audience and your company and how these ideas will go over is an important thing to consider when mixing it up.

Do’s and Don’ts of Small Talk

By Sarah Epstein


You will face situations in which you must mingle with others in a professional setting whether at an event, a conference, or a holiday party. These settings can be daunting for even the most skilled small talkers. Today, we ask Karen for her advice/best practices on how to work a room and make meaningful small talk at an event.


Q:  Karen, what is a good way to open a conversation with somebody else at an event?

A:  Find some way to compliment the person.


Q:  Would you say that there are topics that you should avoid?

A:  Yes. Know the culture of the company or group you’re networking with. You don’t want to discuss anything taboo.


Q:  Many people say that they are too shy or socially awkward to make small talk. What advice do you have for them?

A:  Introverts are at a disadvantage here. Try attending these events with a friend. Separate for a while to mingle, but plan a time to regroup with your ally for moral support. Also, be the question asker. The other person usually loves talking about their favorite subject – themselves.


Q: Are there any faux pas that you’ve seen that you think could be easily avoided?

A:  Making assumptions will cause you to have Titanic Moments. For example, NEVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless her water has broken! Never assume that a couple is actually a couple! Never assume that someone is someone else’s mother when that person could be the other person’s spouse. Never assume anything! Just ask questions and let the other guy do the talking.

Karen Speaks to New Mexico Dental Association

What fun to speak in Albuquerque to my dental friends.  Our topic – The Naked Truth about S.E.X – Skills That Elevate Your ‘X Factor’!  We had a high content and interactive half-day together. Their outcome: to affirm, strengthen and learn new skills on how to attract star quality/high ‘X Factor’ patients, office culture, and team. Their ROI: An office that’s more fun and profitable. Who doesn’t want that?











The Long Game of Marketing


In the past, we at Speak for Yourself have discussed the importance of expanding your professional network and have offered tips on the most effective ways to do so. Networking, however, does not end when you leave an event with a stack of business cards in hand. Networking is a way of creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Here are some practical steps to manage those relationships in the long term.

1) After speaking to an individual at an event, write details that you learned about them on the business card they gave you. This could include his wife’s name, an interest she has, or a project he is working on. Doing this ensures that when you reach out to her again, you will stand out as somebody who really listened and connected on a deeper level.

2) Make sure to send an email within 24 hours of the event to maintain that connection. Doing this increases the likelihood that he will remember you, your face, and who you are.

3) If you come across a news story, a project, or another contact that you think would be helpful to her, email or call with that piece of information. Remember, networking is about what you can do for the other person, not what you can get.

4) Make sure to be in contact semi-regularly. You don’t want to be a pest, but you want to maintain enough contact that your relationship can be win-win.

Karen Speaks at National Cancer Survivors Day

You might think that my keynote “Letters From Einstein”, about hope, resilience, and brassieres, inspired my audience of cancer

survivors, care givers, and the Texas Health Plano team of staff and volunteers. I hope it did.

The truth is that this audience inspired me.

As a fellow cancer survivor I understand this audience’s challenges about uncertainty and loss of control. It was an honor to give my presentation about how to handle life’s chaos with hope and humor.

Thank you- Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano for the opportunity to share my story and to hear yours.



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