- Thu, January 17 2008
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
The other night, I heard a speech by Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools system. I was blown away. This young woman has grabbed the DC schools bureaucracy by the (insert colorful term here), and she’s taking courageous, bold steps to cure the ailing system - including firing incompetent people. When she spoke of her work, her intelligence and passion had me completely spellbound.
By the end of her speech, I was ready to quit my job and volunteer for her full time. I was willing to do anything, yet there wasn’t anything to do.
Then the next speaker came up (who was also great), and moved us all. But then, again, while still contemplating what to do with my inspiration, the evening moved on.
This happens to me too often: I hear an amazing speech at an event, I’m inspired, and yet there’s no where to put that energy.
I’m about to give you such and wonderful piece of advice that NO ONES DOES, so do it! The next time you have or host an event, if you have a great speaker, get them to issue a CALL TO ACTION that people can heed in the next five minutes. Make it something people can do right away to translate their emotion and support into tangible help. Like text an email on their handhelds to a policymaker. Or sign a pledge to help you. Or give you their email address. Or write a check.
People want to help. Help them help you. Help them translate inspiration into action. They want to.
So many people ask me how to build an email list. How about by asking people tearing up at that speech?
I have never been to an event that has taken a single one of those simple steps.
Try it. If I’m there, I swear I’ll do whatever you ask.