Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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Tagged communication

Things dance class taught me: Gender roles, body talking, and the Cypress Hill two-step

Snow Family

Snow Family

My wife—hi, hot stuff!—bought me ballroom dance lessons for Christmas. Even though I can cut rug freestyle, I was really excited about taking formal instruction. After finishing the eight week course last week, I am pleased to report it did not disappoint.

I fully expected to learn some new moves, but I didn’t expect the class to broaden my worldview and deepen my appreciation for music. But it did. Here’s what ballroom dance lessons taught me:  Continue reading…

I haven’t used instant messager in five years

aol-manOkay, that’s not true. But I haven’t IM’d more than 5-8 lines of text in the last five years.

Why? I loathe the technology. It’s so obtrusive. Consequently, I only turn on Skype when I need to make a call. And I haven’t logged in to Google Chat since 2006.

No, asynchronous email is a better respecter of your schedule when it comes to TCB (taking care of business). And meetings and phone calls are my go-to source for real-time communication.

What about you: do you still use instant messenger? If so, why?

Is email dead?

AOL Phoenix view_604x341No. Although no longer a hip technology, I think it will be around for several more decades.

Even if you don’t Twitter, you should search it for real-time reaction

I was pretty stoked by the U.S.’s 2-0 victory over Spain today, which vaulted the unlikely team into the final of the Confederations Cup, a World Cup warmup. In my excitment, I do what I always do: head to Twitter Search (no account required) to start reading immediate reactions from fans. (Google is just too slow sometimes.)

Without an active Twitter account, I don’t participate in the conversation—I do that elsewhere; on my blog, on Facebook, and in various comment sections. But it’s fun to get up-to-the-second reactions to breaking news in one location, without perpetrating your offline life like so many Twitter users seem to do.

Three easy steps to getting your point across

(April 23, 2005) A message—whether an email, voice-mail, sticky note, or blog post—is just a mini presentation. It’s a way of conveying information to an audience. To effectively do so, I try to adhere to the following 3 principles.

  1. Be brief. Say what you need to say and nothing more. Keeping it simple will allow your audience to understand and remember what you want them to.
  2. Be detailed. In what you do choose to say, tell the audience specifically what they need to know, including quantities, hard deadlines, and delivery.
  3. Have structure. Write, record, annotate, say, or outline your message in an organized manner, so there is no confusion.

If you are brief, detailed, and structured when conveying information to an audience, your message will be loud and clear. Just be sure you have something important to say…

“No, I’m asking you a question.”

While on a recent cruise, I played on-board tennis with a Belgian girl and a married couple from South African. It was decided that I would play doubles with the Belgian, upon which she asked, “Which side would you like to play?”

I answered her question with a question: “Which side would you like play?”

“No, I’m asking you a question,” she authoritatively said in a thick European accent.

“Oh, right — I guess you did. I’ll take the right side,” I responded.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the language confrontation. In trying to be overly courteous, as many Americans do, I complicated what should have been a simple exchange. The take-away: forced modesty should always be avoided.