Communicatie: loop, spring, durf

Taal vraagt om gedachtensprongen. En durf.

Taal lijkt eenvoudig, maar is een ware kunst.
Om fris en gericht je ideeën te delen, moet je weten waar je naartoe gaat, èn je gedachte de vrije loop laten. Soms moet je recht op je doel afgaan. Maar om hindernissen te nemen moet je verder denken. Taal is meer dan woorden, het is zelfbeheersing, creativiteit en durf. Buiten vaste patronen denken, nieuwe verbindingen leggen en zonder aarzelen onverwachte sprongen uitvoeren. Zo kan je je punt maken, zelfs al wachten vastberaden tegenstrevers je op om je te stoppen.  Van “first base” naar het tweede en derde honk, en met een tijgersprong veilig thuiskomen (de scheidsrechter spreidt de armen wijd en geeft aan dat je ‘safe’ bent: je hebt je punt gemaakt!).

De woorden die je zegt, tonen wie je bent

De woorden die je zegt, tonen echt wie je bent. Kijk maar naar Steve Jobs van Apple. Hij  is een mensen-mens. Hij spreekt over dromen, dingen waarmaken, waarde, mensen. Kit Eaton van Fast Company plaatste alle gebruikte woorden van een interview van Jobs in een woordenwolk. Prachtig om te zien wat er leeft in de geest van zo’n man. Waar het hart van vol, is loopt de mond van over. Jobs spreekt niet over IT. Of over wat ze gemaakt hebben. Wel over mensen. Over denken, willen, waar ze naartoe gaan.

Uitstekende filosofie. Grote leiders die tot actie inspireren vertellen waarin ze geloven. Niet welke diensten of producten ze aanbieden of hoe ze dat doen. Apple is een succes omdat ze goede producten maken. Maar nog meer omdat ze een identiteit uitstralen en uitnodigen er deel van uit te maken. Simon Sinek op Ted.com legt uit hoe grote leiders tot actie inspireren. Mensen kopen niet wat je doet maar waarom je het doet.

Powerpoint is dead, long live Powerpoint

PowerPoint is dead.
PowerPoint is really dead. It is being beaten to death by people who misuse it on a massive scale; it is a giant dirty security blanket for presenters across the globe.

So YES! PowerPoint is Oh So Dead!
I followed an excellent training by Ib Ravn on ‘Learning meetings and Conferences‘. Hello Ib! You are so right! Wake up people! A meeting should create ‘co flourishing’ between all participants. Presentations should be concise, allow for ‘active digestion’, lead to self-expression and sharing of knowledge. The cherry on the cake (and the real reason many people participate) is that presentations can help networking. So have a facilitator on board in meetings and congresses and make the meeting a happening all will remember!

Yet, bad PowerPoint rules! 300 Million people use PowerPoint in the world. 30 Million PowerPoint presentations are given every day. At least half are no good! Millions fly all around the globe to participate in one-way, boring PowerPoint presentations. Attendees are still treated like cows watching trains passing by. They are rendered passive, group work is unfocused and expert panels are only allowed to deliver ‘more talk from a podium’. Come to the Point, speaker, Generate Power. What did you learn? How did it move you? How will you change? The answer often is … “Wellaaaaaaah Iyaaaaaaaah…”

The best speakers simply do that. They speak. Focus is on them, they share ideas and implicate audiences. They move, they deal in passion. They do not need PowerPoint, because they are the power. They look their audience in the eye. One on one, even with 1000 in an auditorium. PowerPoint can be a good tool, when used to support this attitude and style. When it is clear and direct, when it allows the speaker to be even stronger. Philosophy is boring? Think again!

Interact and bring the Power back to PowerPoint
Brows around on Slideshare and see what you like… Like Alexei Kapterev, explaining what good PowerPoint presentations are. And think on how to interact with your audience. And why not, give us a call and let’s bring your Powerpoint alive together! Then we can say in chorus, “long live PowerPoint!

Creative criminals 1000 posts young…

Congratulations to the creative criminals!

Today they posted their 1000th post.
Good stuff. Smart stuff. Original stuff.
Let me rephrase that…

Here are some bright ideas, and inspiring creative brain teasers of a small crew of media movers.

Not just Belgians, Belgiminians, a special breed of media crazies with a keen eye on what clicks and moves.
From Duracell and Nike to the Wonderbra.
From original Christmas wishes to special bilboarding and bus stop advertising that stops you in your tracks.
Yodemanne!

What’s your one sentence idea?

When starting a novel, approaching someone at a reception, presenting an idea in front of a group… famous first words do make a difference.
“This is where the buck stops”. “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. “Make my day”.

We are all storytellers. The story of our life, our family, our work and our dreams become tangible in the stories we tell.
When you want to convince someone, or when you simply want them to pay attention and become interested in what you say, it is crucial to have your key sentence right.

I once was presented as the new manager of an international fair that was heavily criticized. Some even wanted the event to be canceled. The room was packed with the top players from the sector The atmosphere was polite but tense. I started by saying my name, and after a few introduction words on where I came from, I stopped in mid sentence, took a pause to gather my thoughts and  said “My son just started first grade. When the teacher asked him what I did as a job he said ‘Daddy makes’. Not ‘Daddy makes things’. Just Daddy makes. That’s what I’m here to do. So let’s get to work.”

It was the bold but right thing to say. It had the right tone and content. It showed strength and commitment and the wish to act together as a team. It surprised them all as well. Some of the men in that room now have become my friends. Some I see every now and then and there is no tension left. The event became a success; we worked together to get there. They all felt that I was not there to exploit them, to lie to them or to just do something or other. I was there to make. They remember this moment up to this day.

What is your favorite first phrase from a book? here’s mine:

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. – Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

An inspiring top 100 is here. And here are some new original first phrases, to get you going, perhaps.

Ideas and positive energy rule!

Seth Godin has a new book out, and the Iphone app to support it. As gurus go, he has made and maintained his brand well.
The new one is called Unleashing the Super Ideavirus. Like it. Live your ideas! Have taste! Be in tune with your Hive!

They should force politicians to read it. And then make them discuss it in parliament.  It should be spread for free in business and schools. Spread the word. That creativity is everywhere and the key to our survival and success. Like FlandersDC. They’re inviting Godin over for a talk. Guru style. Put on a show.

We all need  a shot against poverty of the mind. Think out of the box! Freedom! Against negativism and stale management. Let’s get rid of the grey of concrete walls. As is written somewhere in Leuven,Belgium: “Weg met de betonkleur van de betonmuren!” Against negativism and greed too.

Start with your writing, perhaps. One word at a time… (Looking for writing tips? A character name? Want to cure your writers’s block?)
Language IS a great virus. A wonderful virus. Spread the word. it’s more powerful then the sword.