My manager recently said to me that, even if I didn’t put my name on my PowerPoint presentations, he’d recognize them any time. Did I do anything special to earn this compliment? I don’t think so. As a good corporate citizen, I always use the prescribed company template. And I present content (at least I hope) that is relevant for my employer and our customers.
Where I may be different, is that ― unlike the average professional in my company ― I try to keep my slides simple and sweet. No information overload. No long bullet lists. No 12 point font sizes. No complex technical drawings. I am also a visual thinker, which often helps me finding good metaphors and original graphical representations. And, as a passionate storyteller, I always put a proper mix of ethos, pathos, and logos in my presentations. The more personalized, attractive and relevant information is to the person presented with it, the more engagement is possible.
Of course I’m flattered by the fact that my presentations are recognized as (part of) my personal brand. In an earlier post on this blog I wrote about the relationship between brands and customers, and how companies are taking their target audience on a journey, connecting with them emotionally, and positioning their products and services beyond functionality and price. But also personal branding is a very powerful tool, because it provides a clear and consistent message about who you are, what you stand for and what you have to offer – as a representative of your company as well as a private person.
As such, I can only acknowledge the words that Tom Peters wrote in a 1997 Fast Company article:
“In the age of the individual, you have to be your own brand. […] Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
In today’s technology-ruled, content-driven and information-overloaded business environment, the contribution of an individual can still make a big difference. That’s why (even if my boss doesn’t think I need to) I always put my name and my TwitterID on the title page of my presentations…
- The brand called you (by Tom Peters)
- Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign (by Glenn Llopis)
- Your story is your brand ― and vice versa (by me)
- De gustibus et coloribus (by me)