The little lady had a great time tonight listening to Hugh Hewitt speak at El Camino College. He spoke for almost exactly an hour and told a bunch of good stories all focusing on the "communication revolution" being led by blogs and the new media. From his speech I picked up three important points.
1. To paraphrase Blake, "Always Be Selling". If you don't talk about yourself and your accomplishments, no one else will. Humility is admirable, and self-deprication is endearing, but when it comes to your professional career you have to make sure that people know what you've accomplished and what you're working towards. Put your main point first. Mr. Hewitt said that when Mother Theresa was awared the Medal of Freedom by President Reagan and he invited her to say a few words in the Rose Garden she opened with "I need more money". Her cause was good, she knew what she needed, and she wasn't afraid to ask.
2. Two skills will virtually guarantee success in life: the ability to speak effectively in front of an audience, and the ability to write a one-page memo with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Mr. Hewitt told us that because of his skills as a communicator he is often invited to speak to important people, and he uses these opportunities to speak to win his listeners to his points of view. They invite him to teach them how to communicate, and he turns the situation to his own advantage by giving them what they want and pushing them in the direction he wants them to go.
3. Post facts. Everyone has an opinion, but a person who can aggregate facts and pare them down into useful, applicable nuggets will always have an audience.