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A World Record Communicator: An Interview With Ed Bolian

Well executed professional communication, much like a Lamborghini Murcielago, garners attention and makes a statement. No one knows this parallel between cars and communication better than automotive entrepreneur, Ed Bolian. As former Sales Director of Lamborghini Atlanta and founder of automotive social media app VINwiki, Mr. Bolian explains that communication is a key element  to his success. Throttle down and wind in hair, readers will learn that capturing interest and getting to the point helps professional communicators impact audiences. And the Lamborghini?  Well, you’ll just have to scroll to catch a peek…

What is your professional history? 

“2006-2010 – President, Supercar Rentals, Inc. – exotic car rental company founded in college 

2009-2015 – Sales Director, Lamborghini Atlanta  

2016-Now – Founder, VINwiki ”

What writing advice do you have for professional communicators? 

“Be clear, follow standard procedures. Use big words when you actually know what they mean. Lead with something outrageous and then back it up with examples that make it not only make sense but also reveal something the reader can relate to.” http://www.writeawriting.com/business/professional-business-writing-standards/

What is your one pet peeve when it comes to professional writing?

Never use 10 words when 3 will do. Brevity makes impact and maintains attention.

What kind of business reports do you read and/or compose regularly? 

“I track the performance of the app and YouTube channel and produce updates to our staff and stakeholders in various forms. I keep slide decks updated to present on the status of our business periodically.”

What are your writing suggestions to make those types of reports successful? 

“The goal of these communications is making the data clear and attractive. Sometimes it requires spin and making something look more favorable than it really is.”

You always want to be honest but put your best foot forward.

What speaking advice do you have for professional communicators? 

“Be clear, be interesting, and be memorable. If it bores you to write it, no one wants to read it.”

Name one thing you wish you had known about business communication prior to your professional career? 

“It is almost never necessary to use the word that. 

After assessing the Burning Glass list of Baseline Skills (2016), which skills not in the top 5 would you move into the top 5…and why? 

“Critical thinking, analytical skills, and presentation skills are what build value. If you can understand a problem, figure out its status, and let people know what that is, then you matter.

Credit: Burning Glass Technologies

What team skills do you feel young professionals need the most? 

“The ability to speak confidently and form a compelling argument.”

Key Takeaways

Ed Bolian places emphasis on clarity, functionality, and impact when it comes to professional communication. Which makes sense with his sales background. Whether it is persuading a customer to buy a Lamborghini or McLaren, or pitching an app to investors it is important to have an end goal with professional communication. If you do not understand the purpose of your communications it is impossible to do so effectively. Clarity makes communication understandable. Especially in a professional environment it is important to clear and concise. Mr. Bolian states that “Never use 10 words when 3 will do”. What he means is, the more complex your communication is the harder it is to read, which loses the reader’s attention. As an exotic car salesman Mr. Bolian understands the quicker a customer can decide, the greater chance they will purchase the vehicle. It is the same principle in communication, getting to the point will increase the effectiveness of your communication. 

Another aspect of professional communication is impact. When communication is impactful it is more likely to reach its end goal. If your communication is not impactful or attention grabbing it is less likely to acknowledged or responded to. Part of Mr. Bolian’s advice for speaking is “be clear, be interesting, and be memorable. If it bores you to write it, no one wants to read it.” This is great advice because keeping the audience in mind when communicating helps you understand how to impact them. 

Ed Bolian is serial entrepreneur and car enthusiast. Mr. Bolian got his start in the automotive industry as a student at Georgia Tech. His first business was an exotic car rental company known as Supercar Rentals, Inc. After selling his company he moved into exotic car sales as Sales Director for Lamborghini Atlanta. Mr. Bolian in his first year turned the dealership from selling five new Lamborghinis a year into one that sold 50 a year. At Lamborghini Atlanta he also sold cars to NBA star Allen Iverson. Then in 2016 he started automotive social media app VINwiki. At VINwiki he created an app for car enthusiasts to document the history of their cars. In conjunction with the app he also runs the VINwiki YouTube channel, which has over 600,000 subscribers. Ed is also the author of “For the Record: 28:50 a Journey Toward Self-Discovery and the Cannonball Run Record”. His book documents his world record of traveling from New York to LA in 28 hours during the famous rally known as the Cannonball Run.

 

 

 

Jackson Nunning is a Sophomore at the University of Southern Indiana pursuing a major in Economics. He is a former member of the Boy Scouts of America having achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.  

What do you think?

Written by Jackson Nunning

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