A clearly disturbed fan recently sent me this message

csiA clearly disturbed fan recently sent me this message:

“Joe, I notice on your credentials that you have listed, CSI.  I watch that all the time.  My favorite part is when the redheaded guy takes off his sunglasses.  But I’ve never seen you on the program.” – Disturbed Fan

Excellent question!  Like you, DF, I’m a big fan of the show also.  Surprisingly, my favorite part is when the redheaded guy puts on his sunglasses.

However, I think you were misled (by me).  CSI, in my case, stands for Corporate Speak Interpreter.  I have undergone extensive training (almost an entire morning on Skype) in order to learn how to translate corporate communications into something a human could understand. 

For instance:

Corporate Speak – We’ve designed an exciting team-building experience that will change your life.

Human – We’re going on a field trip where some of you are probably gonna get hurt.


Corporate Speak – My door is always open.

Human – My secretary has a Taser.


Corporate Speak – We are instituting a new wellness program.

Human – We’ve moved your parking spot further from the building.


If you have any messages from your company that could use clarification, send them on.  Until then, this is Joe Malarkey saying, “You’re doing a great job.  Keep up the good work!”*

*Translation – How would you feel about training your replacement?

The Three Questions You Have to Answer

funny motivational speakerI am frequently asked, “How’d you come up with the idea for Joe Malarkey”?  The short answer is, during a conversation with a friend it popped out: “I’ve got an idea for a funny keynote.  What about a really, really awful motivational speaker!”

I spent a year writing the show.  That’s how long it took to discover what Joe’s message would be, what made him unique and why someone would want to hire my version of a funny motivational speaker.  It was long process and was littered with false starts and dead ends.

Looking back, I realize these are the same questions that have to be answered for any business.

What is your message?

What is the experience you are bringing to your customers?

What makes you unique?

What can you do that your competitors either cannot or will not?

Why should I hire you?

What can you deliver that your customers will find so valuable that they will stand in line to buy?

Just as an aside.  After performing the Malarkey show for over 18 years, I had a very successful, veteran speaker confess a secret.  He told me that if I had asked his advice in the beginning, he would have told me that this would never work and not waste my time.

So in the challenging process of figuring out who you are and what you bring to the marketplace, be careful.  Someone else’s opinion should never be given more weight that your vision.