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Dear Interns – the things I missed

July 17, 2015

NSLYesterday I met with marketing interns Lauren, Lauren, Laura (yeah, it got confusing fast), Kelly, Emma, Andrew, and Patrick. It was a fun hour and I found that Facebook is dead to them, Twitter isn’t. Also, Vine is dead on the vine, but Instagram continues to crawl. When one of the guys told us he was a Sociology and History major, I clumsily told the group that I think a liberal arts degree is great if while earning it, they learned to think. I articulated the thought much better here.

Here’s what I missed:

Be the data – Data and analytics are what we humans use to run businesses, so learn how to interpret numbers, and not just summary reports of them. Dive into the source spreadsheets and immerse yourself in the columns and rows. Carve up the numbers with pivot tables. Numbers reveal insights and if you’re someone who can find them, you’re valuable.

Tell it to me like I’m a third grader – Once you make the brilliant insights, you need to communicate them. Read stuff written by people who can really write. You’ll pick up how it’s done. And I don’t mean grammar. I mean make sure you can tell a story in a convincing way. And learn to present information visually. Many people are visual learners. Talk to them with pictures. Finally, don’t assume your audience knows what you know.

Stand and deliver – Presentation skills are huge. Fear of public speaking is the #1 fear of most professionals. You know what #2 is? Death. So as Jerry Seinfeld remarked, “to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Overcome this fear. Do karaoke. Take an acting class. Do a stand-up amateur night or do improv. Do whatever it takes to kill that fear and become a good or even great presenter.

Enjoy the summer weekend!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lisa Pratt permalink
    July 18, 2015 1:51 pm

    Great post Leo! All very true.

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