The Template

Every week, I maintain THE TEMPLATE, an award-winningWinner of the 2015 Plank Center Award (public relations org.) for commitment to mentorship. blog that's been viewed more than 1.5 million times by people all over the world. In every column, I provide step-by-step instruction to help you become a stronger communicator. Like I always say, "Write well, open doors!"

How to Defy Expectations


Everything about the Oscars is too long.

I enjoy the Academy Awards, but the show drags on for three hours, much longer than the movies honored throughout the night. If we can only handle a 130-minute film, how can the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expect us to sit through a 180-minute ceremony?

Good thing I hired a seat filler to take my place on the couch during bathroom breaks.

See all the Oscar winners here.

Within the show, the acceptance speeches also run over, despite the Academy’s attempts to shoo winners off the stage with an orchestral “OK you’re done here.”

The best (I should say, worst) example: Pawel Pawlikowski, the Polish filmmaker who won for Best Foreign Language Film. Pawlikowski ignored the wrap-up music and rambled for an additional 35 seconds.

Pawlikowski made the classic mistake: he played into our expectations. We assume honorees will talk too long and then he did, painfully so.

How can we, in our own careers, defy expectations? Wrap up before the audience thinks we will. It’s a simple tactic we can apply in all aspects of our professional lives. For example…

expectations game2.jpg

Defy expectations, and you’ll come out a winner. Every time.

*To make your resume one page: What a Young Professional Resume Should Look Like

**To tell a great story in a cover letter: What a Young Professional Cover Letter Should Look Like


How do you “defy expectations”?

Share below!


Featured photo: Gratisography


comments powered by Disqus