March Was All Talk And Hot Air


Oh, March. You’re usually so blustery and, frankly, kind of a tease. See, around here March has a bad reputation of pretending to be spring when really it’s just still winter being a wet blanket and won’t let anyone have a good time.  But not this year.  Kathleen and I have been wearing shorts and flip-flops and spending our family weekends (that we now treat like precious stolen time), greedily soaking up the unseasonably warm sun, catching fish off our parents little dock, roasting marshmallows over a little fire pit they got at the hardware store and just, well, talking.

So yeah, yeah, you get it. We like our work/life balance (and you should, too). So what are we doing during the workweek as of late? Um, also talking.  A lot. But you know, all official-like. We’ve were asked to give two branding talks in the past two weeks to gatherings of independent small business owners.

Kathleen and I are no strangers to a podium.  But these were our first combined Braid talks.  And we are preparers.  So we carefully crafted our storyboard-style illustrative slides and script notes and we practiced and practiced.  Seriously, if you ever give a talk, do not underestimate the power of preparedness.  Just to give you some insight into how much we prepare, I would say for a thirty minute talk, one that’s new from scratch, for a fairly informal grouping of 15 to 30 people, we spend about 20 hours preparing from start to finish.

I actually have this little mini-help book on presenting that I picked up at the airport on business one time. A coworker sent me to the terminal bookstand to get some juicy tabloids and I disappointingly to her, but gleefully to me, came back with a series of this little pocket sized help books full of diagrams and color coding and bullets, oh my. One was called Innovation (ha!), one was called Working With Difficult People (double, ha!) and the third one about presenting was called (drumroll please), uh, Presenting. Guess they didn’t read the book on innovation before they titled the that last one there.

Reading Material Why Not Both

So, as Kathleen stepped out of the car for the first of our two talks this month, with our laptops and notes and pulling on our unnecessary spring jackets to make us look more put together, I saw that presenting book peeking out of my laptop bag (it’s hard to miss, it has a giant lame stock photo of a microphone on the front and big white utilitarian lettering that’s about 32 point font size). I had kind of just skimmed back over it the night before, remembering that I had it tucked away on my bookshelf, to help tame the butterflies with its calming robotic, logical, bulleted, pocket-sized way.

I was like, “Kathleen, what if I left this book in my bag, and right when we were walking up to the podium to give our talk it fell out on the floor right in front of everyone?”  I tossed it on the (unseasonably warm) asphalt to emphasize how hilarious that would be, and then picked it up and put it right back in the bag on top of all our stuff for the presentation.  Kathleen was like,  “uh, you need to take that out of your bag right now, just leave it in the car, because that will actually happen.”  

Worst Case Scenario for Giving A Talk

This obviously would not be the worst thing to happen in a talk. The usual suspects for most people would be forgetting their points, the slides not working, flop sweat.  Falling down. Um, oh, people yawning, glaring, or just plain getting up and leaving. Ooh. What if someone started doing like a sarcastic slow-clap. That would be really bad.

None of those things happened. We love giving talks. We have a point. We help people. And we’re definitely not full of hot air. Even though March – delightfully was.

Hmm. What Else In March...

• We rolled out a rebrand for one-hundred super proud employees at Heritage’s staff event.  But were upstaged by the surprise honking semi-truck (or mini-semi-truck) unveiling at the end. This client rolled their brand out so right, we wrote about it in our March newsletter, How A Rebrand Should Roll. Where we also couldn’t help making “that’s how we roll” references. Repeatedly.

• Tara forgot to change from her flip-flops into her flats in the car before a client meeting. Luckily they are awesome casual people over at Monscierge. However, the site and brand video we just created for them is perfectly elegant in clean whites and cool blues and calm-into-the-camera stares and no flip-flops in sight. More behind the scenes on this awesome branding endeavor in April.

• Kathleen finally realized how rad the movie Urban Cowboy is (I’ve only told her a million times) and decided that cowboy boots (with spaghetti strapped leotards and frizzy hair) are going to become her new footwear for the summer.

• When Kathleen’s not figuring out how to get urban-cowgirl-ified she’s gearing up for our guest seminar gig at the Indie Shopography workshop with Emily Thompson, who is an expert at getting indie shops online.  We’re teaming up with her in May to put on a workshop in Austin, TX.  We’ll be taking participants through the  “what-you-stand-for” brand therapy, and Emily will be teaching them the “what-it-takes” of online commerce strategy.  Go here to find out how you can attend.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily doses of adventures in branding.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.



branding advice & insights | to your inbox | from Braid Creative

our privacy policy

DEVELOPED BY Indie Shopography