Fibbing, fudging, and spinning. (Telling your story.) – SCN Encourager

By Tom Page, SCN Founder | Knucklehead Moments (The Real Tom)

My mom was a marketing master.

It’s awfully hard for me to admit.

But I see it now.

One of her favorite TV shows way back when was “What’s My Line?”

She understood the challenge involved in saying what you do clearly and concisely.

Every episode of “What’s My Line?” featured a panel of well-known and witty celebrities trying to unearth the vocation of “a guest.”

The panelists were blindfolded if “the guest” was a famous movie star or athlete, but usually they just asked “the guest” yes-or-no questions in rotation made their guesses under the pressure of a speedy-kwik count-down clock.

You can tell just by looking at this photo, “What’s My Line?” matched the sex appeal, suspense, and action of today’s “Game of Thrones” in nearly every way.

Well, maybe not.

But you’d often see the panelists smoking cigarettes – so that was pretty controversial in retrospect, don’tcha think?

For sure, this ancient TV game show spotlighted how figuring out someone’s “line” ain’t all that easy!

In fact, I’ve had my superintendents through the years wonder what the heck I was actually doing day-in and day-out – and they weren’t even blind-folded!

Unfortunately, it’s another fact that you and I often battle to frame our own personal “elevator speeches.”

As we’re usually the culprits who make it difficult for anyone to fully understand what we really do – or even care.

So this our Hot Potato Reality #2.

That most of us can’t complete this basic elevator speech template without prompting.

____[I]_______ help ___[this group]____ tackle or overcome ___[a challenge of some kind]____ so they can _____ [reach a specific level or milestone]_____ , even if _______[there’s a negative factor of some kind]_____.

So how’ bout it?
Am I wrong about today’s Hot Potato Reality?
Would you struggle to complete this template?

I’m gonna bet you would!

Because I struggle with it, too!

“I help purpose-driven and busy school leaders activate clear and consistent communication plans so they can CLOSE THE GAP between THE GOOD WORK they and their teams are doing and WHAT THEIR COMMUNITY KNOWS about it, even if the constraints of time, personnel, and budget at first seem daunting.”

Oh my!

I wish my mom were alive today so she could help me clean this up.

I’m not sure I’d like her advice, though.

Another one of her favorite TV game shows was “To Tell the Truth.”






About the Author

Prior to launching SCN I was the communications director for Holland Public Schools in Holland, Michigan for 20 years. The challenges for in-the-trenches school communicators are many – and if I can help you in any way, give me a call. I'm a former teacher and I've managed more than 100 election campaigns of all types and sizes over the years. (I was even featured in the Wall Street Journal... a very, very slow news day, no doubt!) I created the School Communicators Network because I believe the noble purpose of education deserves the best marketing and PR possible. And there's a lot of talent and expertise we can tap into! I'm also convinced we can support each other while remaining human and having fun, too. You can reach me at

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