What the Heck is a “Conversation Conductor?”

The job title on my business card and website is 'Conversation Conductor.'  The title itself is a conversation starter in most cases. It's also — in my thinking — quite descriptive of what I do daily.

2497059820_5975ea072d One type of conductor guides, leads or directs. Another definition might be a conduit for people or messages to flow and connect. Or we can imagine one who conveys passengers from one destination to another.

I'm a little bit of each of these, at times simultaneously.

The title of Conversation Conductor is also motivated by three things I've loved in my life

  1. Trains: I've always loved trains and the history. Of how they connect people (and products). Whether it's in the movies, music, or books — I love a good train story.
  2. Connections: I started working at the age of 14 (dishwasher). Everyone wanted me to connect them so they could get jobs too. I was like a headhunter/recruiter. Restaurants I didnt work for would ask me if I knew someone who wanted to bus tables or whatever. I'm a human hyperlinker. Always connecting people.
  3. Conversations: When I was young, I used to watch my family (Sicilian) gather around the dinner tables during holidays and go-to-town with outrageous conversation. And it wasn't just the talkers, it was the listeners. Eyeballs rolling, heads shaking violently. grapes being thrown across the table — and lots and lots of belly laughter.  It's where I first learned behavior is as much a part of conversation as talking and listening.

2629934668_8d7f3bf850All this in mind, here's what I do:

  • Teach: I teach those that have a message to share (and a desire to share it) how to use multiple "conversation stations" and either the technology or talk-nology tools necessary – to help their message be heard or read, shared and spread across multiple mediums and borders
  • Reach:  Together, we find out which are the most appropriate "conversation stations" – be it a blog, a classroom, a talk show, a lectern, or even a coffee table – to allow them to grow their audience, their influence, and their bottom line (not always in that order)
  • Measure: I'm a numbers nut. Can we do what we're doing more efficiently? Effectively? Are we connecting with the right folks at the right time? How long after the "conversation" stops, does the spreading continue?

There you have it – Mike Sansone, Conversation Conductor.  All Aboard!

There's probably a bit of Cluetrain Manifesto as a motivator for the title. I first read that in 1999, and it's been a big part of what I've done since then.

Photos on Flickr by Gordon_Landon and Paul L Nettles

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