A career-changing moment or experience
The Two-Minute epiphany
My turning point? The day I was asked to be on the closing panel of a con- ference held
over the holidays.
Pulitzer Prize winners, astronauts,
Fortune 100 CEOs and Nobel physicists
were on the panel and in the audience,
so I was excited about this opportunity.
The challenge? I had two minutes
max to share an intriguing epiphany
with the group.
The night before the panel, I skipped
the New Years’ celebration to work on
my remarks. My son Andrew came back
to our hotel room after midnight and
found me still up.
“Well, I’ve got something to say, but
I know it’s not special.”
“Do what you always tell me to do
when my brain’s fried. Get up early in
the morning and the ideas will come
when you’re fresh.”
“Good advice, Andrew. Thanks.”
I set the alarm for 6 a.m. and went
The next morning, I went in search
of some caffeine to kick-start my cre-
ativity. I turned around after getting my
coffee and bumped into a petite pow-
erhouse with big red glasses. I smiled at
her and said, “Happy New Year.”
She looked at me, eyes bright, and
said, “Start to finish.”
I was instantly intrigued. “How did
you come up with that great phrase?”
She said, “Want to set for a spell and
I’ll tell you?”
I had a decision to make. Was I sup-
posed to go back to my room and work
Our conversation not only yielded
a fascinating story for my closing
remarks and was the start of a reward-
ing friendship, it dramatically changed
the way I communicate and crystal-
lized the following epiphany:
People don’t want more informa-
tion—they want epiphanies.
on my two-minute epiphany or was Dr.
Betty Siegel my two minutes?
Suffice it to say, I went with Betty
(literally and figuratively).
Betty, President Emeritus of Kennesaw
State University, is, quite simply, the best
storyteller I’ve ever known. She doesn’t
tell; she shows. She illustrates each idea
with a vividly told, real-life example so
we see what she’s saying.
Sam Horn, The Intrigue
Expert and author of POP!,
has been featured on NPR,
MSNBC, Business Week.com,
and in Investors Business
Daily and The New York Times. Her
speaking clients include Cisco, Intel and
NASA, and her consulting clients include
the former presidents of ASAE, NSA,
ASTD, ICF and the Disney Institute. For a
copy of the 70-10-10-10 Rule®, contact