Presentation is Every Thing

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My sister treated me to a manicure yesterday. She was having more extensive repairs done, so I was finished first. I began to flip through the nail salon’s brochure, which listed its various services, and I immediately spotted a few errors. Since I occasionally freelance, a little bell went off in my head, so I whipped out my card and went to chat with the manager, pointing out two errors in one sentence. I spoke briefly about how errors take away from the overall presentation of his brochure. This, said I, was a shame since the paper was excellent quality, it was thick and glossy, and chock full of high impact color. The overall layout of information was also nice, but those errors, I stressed, could easily be taken care of when he got ready to redo or print up a new batch of brochures. Then I handed him my business card.


Now, in my defense, those cards are a little old, and I got them for a slightly different freelance purpose: to give to the various music executives, DJ’s and artists, etc. that I meet while working on music freelance pieces. But handing a Vietnamese business owner a card with a cartoon picture of an afro’d Black woman in hot shorts listening to a stereo suddenly seemed ridiculous, and it was. It was inappropriate and for him, unprofessional. I could practically see him thinking, ‘And why would I pay this disco freak to edit my materials?’ Excellent question.


My intentions were good. The circumstances were excellent, and my pitch was solid and well-intentioned. My presentation, however, was lame. So today I ordered some more sedate business cards, complete with my new Web address. When they come in, I will revisit him and handle things right.


You could be the most clever IT pro in the world, capable of leaping tall servers in a single bound and curing the world of any and all present and future security threats whether worm, virus or Trojan, but no matter how many hard-earned certifications you have to your name, no matter what elevated level of experience you can claim, if your cards have a cartoon on the front, people will make assumptions. It’s an unfair world, I know. Cry me a river! Speaking of which, I think I should probably rethink the pink flowers all over the background on my Web site…

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