Adressing FEAR: Installment 3/3

How FEAR taught me a wonderful lesson about preparedness.

Twenty years ago, five years after I had started DUO Strategy and Design Inc., the idea of standing up in a group of people to introduce myself and my company caused me stress. This FEAR of speaking out, of my voice breaking on delivery, of confused articulation left me nervous and reluctant. I decided that I would combat fear using two different strategies: First I would PREPARE and PRACTICE a short (very short), medium and long version of who I was, my company, and our strengths. Then I prepared a set of materials that were a true indication of my values - they were highly graphic, tasteful and brand rich - these I offered to my audience so that they would remember me, my proposition and they would keep my material handy because they were, in and of themselves, interesting and inspiring. Twenty years later, I regularly give talks to anywhere from 20 - 600 people without flinching. By now I have amassed quite an arsenal of materials to share with my audience, with my clients and with my friends. 

For example:
We tested the value of publishing a print newsletter each and every month. We called it NEED TO KNOW.

We have published two issues of our own magazine SPECIAL GLASSES [Open Your Mind and Share What's There]. And an magazine titled BOUNDLESS RAW AND REFINED which sampled ideas, colours, font treatments that were projected to become TRUTH six months hence.

We've held all kinds of events - usually around art shows or in this case MUGS WITH FRAMES Portrait of a City - which was a year long project, culminating in a magazine story, The Great Toronto Game, an opening night and a short video - about how Toronto Is A Friendly City.

We produce the DUO calendar and at points throughout the year we create postcards and themed greeting cards including our holiday card. We design, test and evaluate these marketing communications devices so that we can recommend them to our clients. At the same time, these materials promote our values as communicators and designers.

I am happy to share these with you...
What does your R&D look like? Are you promoting your values and culture while you illuminate your brand? Please show/tell with us.



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