Last week, I promised you a primer on how to stand out. But before I give it to y'all, let me explain from whence it comes.
Back in April, I was one of 100 bloggers worldwide asked by Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton (two of the People I Dig listed at left) to be part of a collaborative book project called The Age of Conversation. We were given free reign to write what we wanted, as long as our "chapter" focused on communicating with others.
Well, given the focus of my entire life, never mind just this here blog, I decided to hone in on what has brought me to this point--the ability to shout (without pissing too many people off). If you dig the following, you'd be well-served by buying the book, as there are 99 more such heartfelt and headspilled pieces within it.
So, without any further ado, here's my 400-word opus. Turn up the volume. And repeat often.
HOW TO SHOUT!
All our lives, we’ve been told to keep quiet.
As babies, we’re told to “Hush,” to stop crying.
As kids, we’re told that we should be seen, and not heard.
Even as adults, the e-world’s rules of etiquette frown on EXCESSIVE USE OF CAPITALS lest it disturb all the other poor ones-and-zeroes that make up our emails.
Well, this “minifesto” explodes the notion that silence is golden. In fact, to borrow the famous anti-aids slogan, to effectively converse in today’s all-pervasive multi-media environment, Silence = Death.
Imagine how ineffective Martin Luther King would be had he whispered “Shhhh…I have a dream.” Would art thieves continue to pursue Edvard Munsch’s “The Sigh”? And would Billy Idol have had as big a hit with the song “Rebel Murmur”?
For years, the art of shouting (yes, the ART) has endured a bad rap… probably because those who used it most are crass, aggressive boors. It’s time to break that stigma. Just like paint can be used to create a masterpiece or a mess, when in the right hands, shouting is a deft, expressive tool.
conversation to be shades of black, white and grey; shouting
is the color. If
conversation is made up of periods, commas and the occasional semicolon,
shouting is the exclamation mark.
Consider conversation to be shades of black, white and grey; shouting is the color.
If conversation is made up of periods, commas and the occasional semicolon, shouting is the exclamation mark.
Like singing, great SHOUTS come from the gut, not the throat. They are emotional, not rational; inspired, not contrived.
Shouting is not about making yourself heard. It’s about making yourself interesting. And making yourself into someone people will want to converse with.
And shouting doesn’t necessarily mean pissing people off. It doesn’t necessarily mean speaking, either. Used properly, a raised eyebrow can be louder than a jackhammer. It’s all about context, and the courage to stand out from the norm.
Yup, it could still backfire. Think of Howard Dean’s guttural yelp during 2004’s Presidential race. There’s a fine line between raw emotion and madness. But who’d you rather have in the White House today—screamin’ Dean, or quiet, condescending Bush?
So shout, shout, let it all out. Don’t be afraid to live life loud. Puff up your chest when you walk into a room. Stand out, don’t fit in. Do it with your clothes, your accessories. A wallet (brown, boring) can hold credit cards, or (Paul Smith-striped) make a statement.
Let everything you have scream your name and establish your personal brand as one of animal magnetism.