Whether Freelancer, Integrator or Multinational: What Story Are You Telling?
Coming from an Irish family, there is one pastime that we enjoy probably more than any other. And as the holidays approach, I know we will be doing this activity extensively over the next couple of months. No, no, I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not knocking back a cold pint or a slug of good whiskey. Rather, it’s the art and joy of story telling. Granted, after said pint, the stories can get richer and funnier… but, regardless of the drink, the act of sitting for hours and listening and sharing stories from our life is how we bond. Through this storytelling, we learn about the hopes and fears and unique characteristics of our friends and families.
There is no more effective (and certainly enjoyable) way to learn about history or life lessons than hearing a great story. And this translates equally to the work that we do – to developing our professional identities, whether an individual or massive corporation.
Think of it this way…
I provide a piece of paper to you that lists my skills with designing and operating a live event webcast. It says something along the lines of: “Extensive knowledge of best platforms for live events. Can integrate social media into the live stream. Establish communication systems for onsite and offsite audience.”
Or, instead, I could tell you the story about the time I had three monitors, an iPad and a phone line to communicate with all the attendees who were at the event, whether there in the room or not. I was monitoring the technical quality of the feed; doing Q&A via Twitter, email and the webcasting platform; texting those questions to an in-room tech moderator so he could interface with the presenter; on the fly, creating a Google doc for our offsite AND on-site audience to be able to take notes and chat together; at the end, compiling a consolidated transcript of all conversation so the event organizer and speaker could gain intel into what the audience was really interested in.
You tell me – did the image of a girl scrambling to keep up with 200 concurrent conversations and a gaggle of devices passing through her hands come to mind? Were you inspired at the idea of how a Google doc could maybe become a cool live communications tool you use on your next event? Ahhh, yes, the power of a narrative.
Let me ask you – are you (or your organization) words on a piece of paper? Or are you a rich canvas of images and sounds and ideas? In a digital culture comprised of tech-savvy buyers, where our services have lost some of their mystique, can you differentiate yourself with a story? As I browse hundreds of freelancer profiles on LinkedIn, they are almost exact duplicates of one another. Do I pick one because I like their name? Where is the welcome video? Why don’t you tell me your funniest story at an event? The time you were an event superhero? C’mon, let’s hear about YOU!
Again, this isn’t just about the individuals out there. I have been to many sites of globally recognized AV companies where there weren’t even executive bios or pictures of projects from the last decade. So, for a little inspiration, I share with you a really fun video I found from a large rental and staging company, Alford Media. Watch the video, be inspired and go forth, share your own story and let the good times roll!