EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

There are a lot of maladies that go along with getting old. The one that tends to bother me the most these days is that I don’t see as well as I used to. Please don’t get alarmed. My eyes aren’t deteriorating from a medical standpoint. No, the problem is reading small type and handwritten name badges.

I hope that all of you go to as many networking meetings as possible. It is important to be out and about. The more you present your credentials, the more likely you will either meet Santa Claus (the person who connects you to a great job) or you will at least become very comfortable in presenting your credentials to complete strangers. At a minimum, networking meetings are a great skill building opportunity.

I believe that all of us have access to printers that allow us to vary type sizes. The wide availability of this capability keeps me wondering at each meeting I attend why folks don’t make up their own name badges and tents on their printer so that you can easily read them from across the room.

Okay, sure, I have a short name. But, I also picked up a great badge holder at a meeting I attended and printed up my name in type as large as I could make it. I also printed up my name on a regular sheet of paper and taped it to my tent. Again, as big as I could make it.

The purpose of this is clarity. In the spirit of the movie “My cousin Vinny,” a networking meeting is no time to blend.

Name badges and tents have a dual purpose. First and foremost is that they enable bashful folks like me to come up to you and introduce myself. I can start with “George, I found your 90-second introduction to be of great interest.” I know your name is George because you are wearing a name badge. And, if you have made the type large enough, I don’t have to lean in and bring my bifocals into the right position.

The added benefit is the reinforcement it provides to your listener, either during your 90-second announcement or when we are speaking “up close and personal.” The whole time I am listening, your name is burning itself into my brain. After the meeting, I may even be able to recall your name (that is if my “old timers” isn’t acting up again) by visualizing your name badge or tent.

Another issue I have these days is absorbing the information on resumes I receive. If I focus real hard that dramatic 10 point type you have chosen and those long convoluted sentences truly speak to me. (Not!)

So, in consideration for those of us who are hard of seeing, I hope you will agree that in the future you will make every effort to visually speak up.

Regards, Matt

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