In a previous article we showed you 100 awesome business card designs but today we’re going to dig a bit deeper and find some awesome business cards that are as unconventional as possible. Se…
Edible? Usable? Memorable? Is your business card as creative and hard-working as you are?
PowerPoint animations are to people as laser pointer red dots are to cats.
Roger Courville got me thinking about bios today with his “5 Strategies for Avoiding Biorrhea” and I realized I have worked with some people recently on bios but hadn’t written about it. I’ll let you go and read Roger’s words on your own but just add a few things I have suggested.
First you should no more have one bio than you would have one resume. Different audiences, different jobs, different situations. Different being the keyword here. Questions I have asked my consultees to consider included: What is the medium? Print, long-form writing, short-form, webinar, in person, etc. Generally if its going into print it will be slightly more formal and perhaps a little longer than some others. If it’s going to be spoken, it should be conversational and work in something specific for the venue. Length may vary. If it’s going on a short web-based piece you may need a “twitter-style” bio. That means short and pithy. Like an elevator pitch if the elevator is only travelling a floor or two.
Bottom line, of both Roger’s comments and mine is to think about it. I think bios, like resumes, too often get written once and forgotten about. So give yours a fresh look. Be purposeful and powerful. Make your bio bionic.
Reading through 3 Tips from Ryan Avery, 2010 World Champion of Public Speaking one of the sections that jumped out at me was about the use of humor in presentations. Avery has a 3 question litmus test for whether something flies or not on the funny front:
- Could I use this in front of Grandma?
- Could I use this in front of two or more generations?
- Could I use this in front of two or more cultures?
That’s a pretty good list not just to filter your humor but could be applied to other aspects of information sharing and working in teams. The last bullet point really struck me in light of something else I read this week. In Daniel R. Tobin’s book Learn Your Way to Success he cites a RW3 research report that finds “40 percent of geographically dispersed teams underperform, primarily because of cultural differences among members.”
And culture isn’t just about physical location or personal heritage. Institutions have cultures. Different offices of the same business can have different cultures determined not only by geography but the makeup of the staff, the temperament of the leadership, the corporate values and so forth.
The Internet and ease of accessing one another globally may cause us to forget at times that there are still great separations between the customs and expectations and interpretations of others, but it wouldn’t hurt for us to take a moment when we are communicating to consider the question of culture.
Recently I got the warning beep that the power level on my cell phone battery was approaching the critically low level. I usually carry a spare battery so it was just a matter of a quick swap of the batteries and the little green bar was refilled and the phone buzzed back to life. But something was different. All of my text messages were gone. Kaput. Wiped out. Just a blank screen where they had been, moments prior, a host of smiling avatars and messages. Little snippets of conversations with friends far and wide.
My heart sank at the loss. It felt like a real, tremendous loss at that moment. Especially the heart-felt texts between my boyfriend and me. I had saved them all. I felt my phone had betrayed me and my relationship. But then I took a breath and found some perspective. Some clarity. It may have been partially because I was spending time with an elderly relative at the time. It may have been because I’ve been reading a lot lately about the social impacts of the digital culture. The good, the bad, and the full range of options in between. But I stopped to really think about what was lost.
Sure the record of words sent in jest and love and query disappeared from the screen but what made those no-longer captured words more valuable than the thousands of others that had been spoken between myself and the texters? Did putting them in a text message deserve to give them superior status? What is the hierarchy of communication these days? It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have the ability to send text messages. How is it that they have so quickly infused themselves into our lives to such an extent that we feel sadness at their loss?
And so, after the deep breath and the moment of reflection I actually felt a bit lighter. I wasn’t constrained by the messages any longer. They had served their purpose and now had slipped back into the ether. Sure there was some residual sadness. I should have found a way to back them up. There were some beautiful sentiments in there that I would like to have scrolled back through. But what I found was even more precious. I found some clarity and perspective. Technology is wonderful but we are past the point of novelty and it is time to really look at what we do with it and why and use it to our best advantage. We should be purposeful while maintaining our playful sense of digital self. We should stop every once in a while and really think about what we are doing and why.