This media gun is a former prime-time radio talk show host in the #1 radio market in the world – Los Angeles. Today he runs a thriving media and communications consulting firm based in LA and New York. Roberts’ clients range from major publishers and best-selling authors to Fortune 500 corporations such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Wal-Mart and Target. Roberts also coaches politicians, CEOs, entrepreneurs and celebrities in how to harness the media and is the official media coach for the #1 best-selling franchise, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Other best-selling author clients include Stephen Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Successful People) and Jack Canfield (The Success Principle).
I’m here this evening to submit to you that the most powerful language in the world today
and the most important literacy for someone to have, is what I would call the language of impact. And it is a particular idiom which really I think is more essential today than it has ever been. With the internet revolution anyone can plug and play. Anyone can connect compete and collaborate. You want to be a broadcaster? You don’t have to be sky television in Australia. You have a computer, you can podcast tomorrow. Or you wanna be a publisher?
You don’t have to be the Sydney Morning Herald. You’ve got a computer? You can blog tomorrow.
The technology of mass communication has been democratized but the techniques have not. I could share with you some of those media secrets that I think are infinitely applicable to communicating a selling proposition. Whether you want to go into the media or not, for myself, to be quite blunt about it, to generate one more media hook for people has long since ceased to be an erotic experience. The world that we live in is loud and crowded. The question is how you get heard. I’m a digger for divine deposits. What did I have to do to get to the heart of you and your message quickly. And what would you have to do to get to the heart of yourselves and the heart of your message. Your selling proposition. Your product, your service, your creed, your calls, your concept, your candidate, your whatever. I am never bored by asking that question. I just find people fascinating.
I’ve never met you. I don’t know anything about you. Let’s put you on the air and see what happens. Anybody got a stopwatch?
What’s the name of your book?
How to climb Mount Everest in sandals.
How very Australian. There she is. In sandals. Dangling from Mount Everest. Clinging into an extended icicle. Ready to fall 21,000 feet to her death.
Now where is mine?
It was more but I was under-resourced to do it
How to climb Mount Everest in sandals did you say?
Wanna pretend you’re on KABC talk radio Los Angeles?
Yes, let’s do it.
What’s your last name?
Rees? Rhiannon Rees?
Rhiannon Rees is here with us on AM 790 KABC talk radio Los Angeles
How are you Joel?
I love a woman who interrupts my introduction. It bodes well for our future Rhiannon.
Tell me about your book.
Well it’s a first 2/3’s my story and the back end just looking how to change your life, that sort of thing.
That sort of thing?
In a nutshell.
What sort of thing?
Well like my brother committed suicide, I lost 5 babies to miscarriage. My husband became a woman. I became homeless 2 and a half years ago…
You became what?
I was living in a tent 2 and a half years ago. Going to the food bank for food with my 4 year old son.
When your husband became a woman…
Well that’s how it started the last part of it, yeah. “She” just had full sex change.
She went back?
No, “she” is now a woman.
Yeah, previously he.
Right. When he was married to you. So did you get divorced somewhere in there?
We got 250 million people listening now. No. We haven’t divorced but we’re separated for 6 years.
You’re still not divorced?
No. She won’t sign the papers.
Must’ve been hard living in a tent
It’s not easy. It was like I lost everything. There was nothing inside. I felt dead inside.
What turned you around?
My mom got ill. I have to figure out a way to get back to Australia to look after her.
Oh, where were you when all this happened?
Oh Canda. That’ll do that to people. Was your husband Canadian?
It’s epidemic up there, you know.
Well I only experienced it once but apparently…
If only you would’ve called us beforehand. Might have warned you. Now in all seriousness and I truly don’t mean to make light of this but… so you had to come back to Australia to care for your mother?
Yes. She’s very sick and I’m the only one who can come back with my son. We rented a 1 bedroom apartment and helped my mom to recover.
And what did you learn from all this?
Well, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was tough at the time
Are you timing this?
Good. How far are we? Don’t stop, how far are we now?
3 minutes 20 seconds.
3:20, good, keep timing. Go ahead.
Now my life’s amazing because I went down so low. There wasn’t much further to go.
Yup! What you find out?
I found out that sometimes the toughest situations that you go through actually make you. I’m so happy now that if it took all that crap to get here then I wouldn’t have changed any of it.
Very nice. Well thanks for coming by and chatting with us
No worries Joel.
I have to tell you something. In all kindness, compassion and love. Okay? These four minutes didn’t hit it. Now, I didn’t prompt you much, you may have noticed. I kept the conversation going but I could have probed in a more skilled way. But I basically let you stand or sit on your own.
Okay. I can get you where you need to go but first we need to develop consciousness about what didn’t happened here. Because you cannot solve a problem if you don’t know what it is. In the entire world there are two kinds of problems. Simplistic right? Two kinds of problems in the entire world. Ready? Problems you have and problems you don’t. That’s it. There are problems you have and problems you don’t. Your job as communicator is to either address the problem I have or to get me to have the problem you address. I’ll repeat that. Your job as communicators is either to address the problem I have or get me to have the problem you address. You are in the problem distribution business. All progress depends on discontent. The great media people distribute problems. Look at every commercial. Look at every promo.
Look at 60 Minutes Australia, which I was watching the other night and look at the beginning of the broadcast where they do those quick promos that let you know what’s coming on in the three segments, right? And they distribute problems.
Apart from a compelling story because not many of us have lost everything we had. Been married to someone who opted for a sex change. Lived in a tent presumably on some form of what we would call welfare. And had to go flying back to care for a gravely ill mother. All these conditions when you line them up in one ledger put you in a rather limited demographic. Okay? That’s good. That’s good! A compelling story without a doubt. But in 4 minutes of talking with you what did they get from you? That they can take away?
That’s the issue. So there have to be a way that you can share your story but it has to be a story in the service of something. And what this was in the service of, is not clear. Everybody clear about that? Now I hesitate to tell you this because you know we’ve got 45 minutes left, 40 minutes left, I don’t want to appear to be insensitive. But the same time I have an obligation. My obligation is to serve you. My obligation is to show you what you would need to do. To go on to a KABC talk radio Los Angeles with that story and have it serve the audience in a way that they’re buying your book.
Have publishers clamored for your book yet?
Have you finished the book?
Yeah it’s out.
It’s out? Who published it?
I’m self published.
Right! Which is fine but would you like to know what you would need to do in order to position this thing for the big leagues?
Okay your story has got to provide us with some sort of take away that we can get from it. Your story, dramatic though it is, is not an intrinsic inherent merit. It’s a means to an end but the end is the audience. The end is the quarter million people going out, oh wow I have something I can get from that. And you had 4 minutes which is a bit of time. Good news is, like I say, give me three days I’ll give you three minutes. Here’s the deal. You can accomplish a ton in three minutes. What did you learn?
What did I learn?
What did you learn?
That I didn’t think about it. That I didn’t position it. I could’ve done a good job.
No, what did you learn from the experience you went through?
Right. We’re just getting warmed up. What did you learn from your season in purgatory?
I’ve learned that I can do anything.
Great! How does that help them?
They can do anything too.
Ok. Now. Let me ask you something. Do you think the idea that they can do anything is something that they’ve heard before or is it radically new to them.
It’s not new.
It’s not new.
Now, novelty is not the only measure of an idea but I come from America. We get everything 10 years before you do. Sorry. It was a joke. Sort of…
So, great! You learned that you can do anything and if you stand up and say to them “good day folks, you can do anything”
They all have orgasms on the spot right?
Maybe not. What’s your next best shot?
That they can overcome any obstacle in their life.
Have you never heard that before?
You see, look. Everything you’re saying has been said by Tony Robbins and every other self-help guru trotting him or herself around on seven art stages all over the world. They can do anything. What was the second thing?
They can overcome any obstacles.
They can overcome any obstacle. They can do anything, they can overcome any obstacle. Great. Do they not know that? How many of you did not know you could do anything? Raise your hand. How many of you had never heard that you can overcome any obstacle?
Great. You see our challenge?
You’re telling them something that they have heard already. So we’ve got two choices. A, tell them something they haven’t heard or B, tell things, tell them something they have heard in a way that’s fresh and unique. Failing that, it’s not just that it won’t be a great interview it is rather that you won’t get the interview.
Everybody with me? Look, you’re gonna forgive me for being candid right?
This is why I’m here. This is exactly why I sat in this chair.
Ok. Ok. It’s the same in Australia. They’re looking for something new. What was that?
Very good. I’m telling you. That was excellent. If I weren’t married you when I would have a future. To quote John Travolta, “you’re the one that i want.” And Olivia Newton-John…
You have been very busy.
You get it?
How would you put a new slant on that?
Well you tell me. But let me tell you something. Let’s just kind of be with this for a moment.
Does everybody get, look, I am allowed at your event to speak at a spiritual level right? Okay. I’m a digger for divine deposits. The problem is the world is loud and crowded. The problem is it’s all been heard before. The problem is humanity is inured. The problem is humanity is desensitized. The Internet has only made it worse and its made it free. I’m serious its made it free. Which is a serious complication. Out there it’s harder to sell stuff for money. In a universe where everything is available for free, that’s tough. So here we come to you and we say well this ain’t new. Now I wanna find something that’s new or I want to find some way of saying it that’s new.
The sandals. Okay. So, fine. The title of your book again is?
How to climb Mount Everest in sandals.
Right. So what do the sandals mean to you?
That most of the time we’re under-resourced in life but you have huge obstacles to overcome so how do you do it with the limited resources that you have.
Pause. That was the first thing she said that to my ears had any impact. That was the first time the image up her own title has paid off. The idea that sandals are limited resources against the world’s biggest challenge. Okay. We didn’t hear that from you before.
Right. Good. Now to be honest with you. that’s where I was gonna go. Good! And I had a bit of a dilemma. I kept sitting here for four minutes saying to myself, when is she gonna come on her own strength. It’s in her own freaking title for God sake.
Pay it off!
But this is beautiful, you get it?
This is beautiful. This is what it feels like when you don’t hit it.
And then you start to get close
You get it?
Wonderful. Look, I believe that God created every human being with their own soul print. Like a fingerprint, it can’t be imitated. It can’t be replicated. No two are the same and at the risk of sounding highfalutin or airy fairy or both. My job is to help people create a singular signature in the marketplace. My job is to de-generisize your rhetoric so that you will have impact unique, impact everybody with me. This is what we’re after.
So now let’s pretend that this is a chalkboard here. Suppose we were to write some words or phrases having to do with Everest and having to do with sandals. Okay, now remember you can do anything you want. We’ve heard that one you can overcome any obstacle. We fall asleep to that. Okay but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Why everest? Why sandals?
Originally the title was called, for 10 years it was, The Courage to Live an Ordinary Life.
The courage to what?
The Courage to Live an Ordinary Life was the title for 10 years.
Eh. I like the new one better.
Yeah. me too.
Right. You too can be ordinary! I want you as an entire nation to stand up and aspire to the completely unexceptional. Let’s go! I think Everest on sandals is better.
The courage to lead an ordinary life. I mean I think I understand what you’re saying but, and the current title is how to climb Mount Everest in sandals. Right. Okay. Like I have all kinds of associations about Mount Everest in sandals but let me hear what yours are. What do you think of when you hear, when you think of Mount Everest in sandals.
It’s impossible. You cannot do it.
What else? Good, good, good. What else? Does anybody have, can you write something down for us please? Great. Ready? I wanna give you some words.
Euphoric? Is that what you said?
Euphoric. Can you show people with surface, like a slippery surface. Can you show people on a slippery surface how to gain traction?
Yes or yes?
Can you show people that ordinarily it’s their fears that create the Avalanche, not the actual
snow? Yes or yes? Just say yes.
I can tell you what’s gonna happen as a result of our time together this evening and I apologize to you in advance you know what’s gonna happen. You gonna want to rewrite that book.
No no no no.
Fine with me if you don’t. But I tell you what. I can tell you how I would talk about that book if I were on the air and I haven’t even read the book okay? Look, if you say to people it’s very very important that we understand that most of our limitations are actually from our own limiting beliefs, so we’re really kind of seducing ourselves into our own sense of smallness. That’s a cliche, right. That sounds like every damned NLP hypnotherapy trainer you’ve ever not wanted to meet in your whole life, right?
Good day mate, do you wanna know about limiting belief? No not really
But you know what if you say most of us create our own avalanches not the snow. You know if people are gonna say to you… What do you mean by that? And I’ve got to tell you something, as a media strategist from the heart of the media be used in the Western world, the words “what do you mean by that” are the happiest words I’ve ever heard in my life. I’m serious. I am obsessed with beginnings. I am obsessed with getting you to utter something that takes you out of the generic takes you out of the cliche that arrests and commands our attention. Now you can say “well, you know we all have these limiting beliefs and I would like to show you ways you can overcome your self-imposed limitations”, and they will just all fall asleep in your lap.
A nice lap I mean I acknowledge this
But if you can say, look I climbed Mount Everest in sandals. I know something about not having traction. I know something about fearing that every slide could be a slip to your death
and I know what it’s like when you finally get it that you create the avalanche not the snow.
And you want to know something, you say that and they go, What? It’s amazing. They go, What? And all you did was payoff your own metaphor and now we have you.
That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful.
When I brought you up and I heard the title of your book I thought this is interesting. Undoubtedly she will have a whole lexicon of things related to sandals, mountain climbing, everest all that stuff. Turns out, that didn’t happen. Okay, that’s fine turns out, and again I say this lovingly, compassionately all that stuff. Turns out the what you said was pretty much on the order of cliches.
Okay, that’s the problem. So can everybody understand? That the world is loud and crowded. Can everybody understand that the challenge therefore is to de-generesize your rhetoric so that you show up, with the singular signature in the marketplace that God intended you, and only you, to have. Does everybody get that? That’s what we’re up to. So let me tell you where we look. You are sitting on a platinum mine of uniqueness but it haven’t yet occurred to you. My job was to find that place in you. That singular idiom. That limited addition lexicon that you and only you have. And we just heard a taste of it.
You’ll be able to look at that tape and get a quick little bit of it. I’ll leave you with this. Watch. Here’s what I mean. The one pointing up means the stakes are higher than ever before. I’m giving you a characterization of today’s communications environment. The stakes are higher than ever before refers to globalization. Refers to the fact that with the internet you now have not only more potential customers but also more potential competitors than you’ve ever had in your life. That’s the arrow pointing up the stakes are higher than ever before. Here’s the arrow pointing down. The moment is briefer than ever before. That refers to the ever dwindling
attention span of humanity which is one of America’s great exports.