Have you seen a list of professionally relevant acronyms on a business card take up more space than the individual’s name? I know I have.
Or, how about during a PowerPoint presentation? Where the first slide includes at least 20 professional acronyms after the presenter’s name. And, the next three slides include the individual’s complete professional resume?
Before the first contextual slide ever is presented?
Do you expect professionally relevant acronyms to tell your entire professional story?
Because the story you tell is that these acronyms and your professional certifications are the most important story you must tell. And your story is self-focused, instead of audience engagement-focused.
Are you intentionally, or unintentionally, erecting communication barriers? Are you engaging co-workers, colleagues, partners and clients? Or, turning them off to being receptive to whatever other content you intend to present.
Think about it.
Professionally relevant acronyms and certifications certainly are qualifiers of professional credibility. No doubt about it.
However, you have less than one minute (much less) to get your point across to an audience of even one individual. And, create an employee experience, an audience experience. When you use this precious time to list your accomplishments, you clearly establish your priorities to them: yourself. Your prioritization of the importance of professional acronyms and certifications becomes the entire professional story you tell. Continuously.
Do you deploy your professionally relevant acronyms to marginalize, exclude or intimidate other people?
Either intentionally, or unintentionally, over dependence on titles and credentials turns people off. Especially, when their own professional disciplines do not use the same acronyms or certifications that yours does. So, they may not even understand what all those acronyms and certifications refer to.
As a result, the story you showcase is that you are part of an exclusive insider’s club. And they aren’t.
- First, what happens when the people you exclude are decision makers for your startup, products and services?
- Next, what happens when these decision makers may not have a college degree, yet are successful CEOs of their own businesses?
- Finally, ponder the impact of your unaligned professional priorities on the client experiences you create when communicating with these decision makers.
If your professional communication and messaging is falling short of hitting the professional mark, consider the elements you rely on to tell your professional story. To improve, click on this link. Let’s re-calibrate how you tell that story to engage, instead of marginalize.
- Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs, workshops or moderated facilitation services. Contact me right here.
- Download my new checklist and worksheet: Six Professional Development Targets to Hit each Month.
- Subscribe to my blog. Share your email address in the red box in the right column of this blog. Never miss another insightful post.
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset® Storytelling Speaking Programs leverage storytelling for STEM professionals and left brain thinkers to catalyze employee and customer success and retention. She motivates individuals and teams to combine courage, curiosity and critical thinking skills to co-create compelling stories which inspire trust in one another. Especially in digitally transforming industries with STEM and left-brain stakeholders.
Find out more about Babette’s professional story here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform. Contact Babette here.
Image source: Adobe Stock