Yesterday I had the great pleasure of bookending my day with a business breakfast and an evening lecture. I learned a lot from the presenters.

2014-03-27 08.44.59In the morning Joe Connolly of WCBS Radio in New York emceed a breakfast panel discussion on current business trends to a full ballroom of entrepreneurs and professionals. He was comfortable enough after his years of experience to admit his misgivings about technology and how the younger generation has so ably handled it; the capable panelists could not have been over 30. And he opened the floor to many wide-ranging questions and allowed questioners to speak a bit about their own experience and observations. It wasn’t only about him. He asked questions, polled the audience–no doubt for observations he will weave in his characteristically short news tidbits in a future radio broadcast. Themes: experience, confidence, seeking input at all levels. That’s a truly confident person.

2014-03-27 20.02.04 HDRIn the evening I listened and laughed with Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of the New Yorker Magazine when he spoke in a standing-room-only library session about his lifelong study of humor, and how he selects 17 cartoons from hundreds he receives to appear in a weekly edition. He laughed at himself, proud of his lovingly cranky selection process (see more in the recent 60 Minutes segment), engaged the audience and seasoned his talk with videos and cartoons on the screen behind him. (I have admired Seth Godin using video in his talks too.)  Mankoff subtly pumped his new book. OK, this is him, and he makes no apologies. He knows his audience in the New Yorker and beyond, as he defines intelligent humor, contrasted to what we endure on TV (funniest videos, etc.). Themes: experience, confidence, stretching his limits. Another truly confident person.

I study public speakers’ habits and techniques. These demonstrate the traits I incorporate into my work. We all should. We all should show our desire to move beyond the tried-and-true. That’s what makes us eclipse the competition. You know that, but do you practice it?

The LinkedIn connection to all this, you ask, since my promise is a LinkedIn nugget a day?

To the outside world, does your LinkedIn personal and company profile show you, in your own words, as a pliable, growing, value-driven professional, standing out, or does it make the reader snooze? I hope it’s the former.