Whenever you read the newspaper (or look at it online), how often do you really notice the headlines?
Headlines are designed to solicit interest: the editor who wrote them is trying to let you know what the article is about, while at the same time "selling" you on the importance of actually reading further. Consider several recent headlines:
- Will Bing boom or be a big bust? (a BBC story about Microsoft's new "Bing" search engine.)
- The truth shall set you Pre (an Infoworld article on Palm's new "Pre" Smart Phone)
- What you won't do for a job (a Wall Street Journal story on unconventional interview approaches)
Each of these are intriguing, sometimes clever, and attempt to draw the reader into the story. (We might not have the journalist's writing skill, but we often use this same concept with our reports or presentations.)
The concept of headlines also applies to each of us as individuals. We each have our stories and our professional experiences - and each of these has a headline. And at a personal level, what would you want your headline to be? How would you want to be known? In the same way that a news headline draws the reader to the article, a personal headline begins the engagement that others have with you. A bad headline says "nothing here, move along", while a great headline opens the conversation and strengthens the relationship.
This week's action item: Ask ten of your colleagues, friends, and family to tell you what they think your "headline" might be. If you are happy with what you're told, then you're done. If you're not, then work through to change your bad headline to a great one.
Randall Craig is an expert on Career Planning, Work-Life Balance, and Networking; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through www.PersonalBalanceSheet.com, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make It Happen Tipsheet
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Copyright © 2009 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: June 9, 2009
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