There is no more apparent demonstration of professional personality, than in the outward expression of what we, as business owners, believe and what we stand for. But of course, opinions are like…um, pick a body part. Everyone has one. And more than ever before, we have seemingly endless avenues to share our opinions with anyone willing to listen. Just look at the airwaves, the internet and the newsstand. From call-in talk shows and other broadcast “gab-fests,” to e-zines, chat rooms, My Space, YouTube and the explosion of internet blogs, everyone has something to say – and they’re fighting to get their voice heard.

The glut of voices in the marketplace creates even greater challenges for organizations and professionals looking to build and promote their brand in the marketplace. Too many in business are looking to differentiate themselves by discovering the “secret formula” to get the microphone or camera turned in their direction. Well, I hate to break it to you – but there isn’t a secret formula. The answer, in fact, is right in front of you on the air, online and in newspaper columns across America every day – you just have to pay attention and recognize the source of the music.

What is the common personality characteristic shared by Al Sharpton, Nancy Grace, Bill O’Rielly, Dr. Laura, Richard Simmons, Steve Jobs, Jack LaLanne, Oprah Winfrey, Ron Paul and even anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan? Before you assert that they represent a level of annoyance, remember that one person’s static is a symphony to another. The answer is that they are all on a very public and passionate crusade. They have a personal mission and they’re shouting from the rooftops. Moreover, they have honed their message and in doing so, communicate their personality clearly, concisely and consistently. They stay on message and look for any opportunity to espouse their beliefs, or make their case to their audience. They bolster their message by tying current events and hot news stories to their subject. And above all, they have strong opinions and don’t mince words. They don’t say: “Here’s the subject, what do you think?” They tell you what they believe and you are free to agree or disagree.

Developing and marketing a dynamic business personality follows the same formula. There is no mistaking the personality of such business greats as Ben & Jerry’s, Nordstrom, Google, The Ritz Carlton, Chuck-E-Cheese, Virgin Airlines and Apple. It’s more than simply espousing and promoting a business philosophy or organizational message. These highly differentiated and unique companies are consistently walking-the-walk as well as talking the talk! They live the message in everything they do – and everything they don’t do.

They are on a crusade for innovation, customer service, community service, luxury, fun or fitness. It’s more than an approach, it’s a mission, and their personality is always on display.

But it’s important to avoid confusing a strong opinion with a credible crusade and an engaging personality. The difference between the messages and messengers that make it beyond the blogging in your bathrobe at 2:00 am, and the ones that make it to the airwaves, is three distinct qualities: relevance, credibility and passion. This triumvirate is the three legged stool that companies need to stand upon to make it to the big media stage.

Time for a gut check: Does your crusade pass these tests? Expertise aside, are you really differentiated, opinionated and bold enough to compete for the throne in your category? Are you “speaking” to a niche market, or have you found the hook to create a relevant and captivating persona to a broad audience?

Here’s a test: You have a TV camera pointed at your face. You have 90 seconds to say everything about your subject, your passion and crusade that you’ve been dying to get off your chest. In your perfect world, what needs to happen or change? What have others consistently gotten wrong that you have addressed and corrected in your business? You need to fill the entire 90, uninterrupted seconds with relevant, passionate and articulate points that excite people and move them to action. Ready? Go.

Could you do it? If not, turn off your cell phone, close your door and put pen to paper. It’s more than an elevator speech. It’s what you’d scream from the top of the mountain if you got there. One short elevator speech get’s you a business card. The other puts you on the road to revealing your unique personality to the broad marketplace and becoming top-of-mind with your top prospects. To make it to the big media stage, crank up your expertise and passion, and bring your engaging business personality to the masses.