It’s All About You….

Monday, January 20th, 2014 by Simon Morton

Or Is It??

Sometimes a news story pops up that really gets us thinking. Often as not it’s something that makes us look at presentations from a new angle or gets our juices flowing about communication in general and last week threw us a corker.

Chen Guangbiao is a Chinese businessman who has created a business card that is causing quite a few raised eyebrows.

We’ve chatted about business cards here before and the important part they play in making a first and (hopefully) lasting impression. But the reason we’re so interested in Chen Guangbiao is that he has provided an outstanding example of a couple of mistakes that we help our customers eradicate in their presentations.

You can see this tome of self-promotion in all its glory here but I’m more than happy to share his listed achievements:

Most Influential Person of China
Most Prominent Philanthropist of China
China Moral Leader
China Earthquake Rescue Hero
Most Well-Known and Beloved Chinese Role Model
China Top Ten Most Honorable Volunteer
Most Charismatic Philanthropist of China
China Low Carbon Emission Environmental Protection Top Advocate
China’s Foremost Environmental Preservation Demolition Expert

And yes, they are all listed on his (average sized) business card along with more contact details than you could wish for….and a photo.

All of which carries us seamlessly to the subject of content cramming.

There are people who believe that the more information you share, the more informed your audience will be. On the surface there seems little to argue with here but the Human brain has many amazing qualities including the ability to shut off completely when overloaded. We know that busy slides are a sure fire way of disengaging an audience – if you can’t be bothered to pick out the important bits, why should they be?

Moving on….as mind boggling as his list of achievements is, it’s not immediately apparent what he can do for me. To be fair he does also include his job title (and it’s more informative than some I’ve come across) but by the time I’ve waded through that far I’m not sure that I’m still interested. It’s easy to be dismissive but his egocentric synopsis is exactly the same as using the first four slides of your presentation to introduce yourself, your head office, your executive board and your organisational organogram. You run a real risk of your audience switching off before you get anywhere near the point of your presentation.

Both these mistakes can be avoided by taking the time to understand your audience, if you can give the information they need in a way that they can easily relate to their circumstances, then you’re on the right track. If you can also get under the skin of their motivation and make that the centre of your messaging then you’re onto a winner.

So where does that leave us when it comes to assessing the merits (or otherwise) of this particular rectangle of card? Well I can only say this…if the point of this card was to create an online buzz that got bloggers, experts and pundits talking about it, then success has been achieved. Unfortunately for Chen I can’t help feeling that we weren’t exactly his target audience and that by not taking the time to work out who was and why they might want do business with him; he’s missed a real opportunity.

If any of this strikes a chord with you or (and this one’s purely for our own personal amusement) you have a business card that can rival Chens please get in touch, we love to chat.

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