Richard Askam is a speaker, a writer, and a man with an opinion. Rather than blindly following the conventions Richard Askam question the things that we often take for granted. In a world that moves faster and faster, we tempt to forget the importance of in-depth insights and considerations and it even spread to the decisions in life that really matters – like how are we supposed to communicate with each other.
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Hi, it’s Richard Askam. I’m going to talk to you a little bit now about a topic that’s close to my heart, which is social media. What do I mean by that? It’s the method by which we are all now communicating with each other around the world, in a way that has never been used before, but I wonder whether it’s the right way. For example, I spend a lot of time in the print industry, standing on stages at conferences and events, talking, giving presentations. What would you say if you booked me to come and speak at your event, and I gave you 140 characters and then left the stage? Do you feel as though that message would have the value that you expect to be delivered in that environment? And yet, as businesses and as people, we feel as though we can now convey our message within those 140 characters and that’s enough.
My argument is exactly the opposite. In fact, I think if the businesses that allowed us 140 characters were to actually allow us a little bit more latitude than that, then the message would be an awful lot easier to convey. I can’t possibly tell you in 140 characters exactly what it is that I want you to hear. So what I do, hopefully, is expand on that topic and allow the audience to do the one thing that we are all losing the ability to do, which is to converse with each other.
We are heading towards a generation that have lost the art of conversation. We’re actually breeding our next generation to talk to each other through their thumbs. I’m not entirely sure that’s the best way to communicate with anybody. I quite like the blend, in the same way that we have the blend of digital marketing and traditional marketing. But from a communications platform, my experience is when you’re at these events all of the best things happen when you’re at the bar. People talk to each other in a way that they used to, people talk to each other in a way that they are familiar with. And as a result, the relationship is formed at a greater and deeper level than any 140-character Tweet can ever do for anybody.
So my advice when I’m at these events now is to take time to consider the value of that conversation. We were all born with the ability to speak to each other, but nobody actually told us the necessity of it. I think it’s hugely important in this day and age that we don’t forget that. From time to time, we all fall into the same traps. I do, you do as well. When was the last time you checked your phone to see if you had an email, for example? And just so you know, that’s the same as checking your front door to see if anybody’s knocked on it.
There’s a level of madness involved in technology that is becoming normal for all of us, and I’m challenging that theory today. So instead of talking to each other in bite-size pieces and trying to fit a huge amount of information into a small space, let’s just find the time to talk to each other, because on that basis my feeling is more will get done.