I just returned home from the annual AICI conference for image consultants and find myself reflecting positively about the experience. The conference is a traveling pilgrimage of sorts, one part educational, and one part experiential, just held in a different locale each year. This year’s conference was one of the best overall experiences I’ve encountered in some time.

Much of the educational content I was drawn to revolved around effective communication. Ironic, eh? I thought so, too. Jason Alba, the founder of JibberJobber.com spoke at a session where he laid out a sound strategy for communicating online and following up with contacts. The volume of people I encounter makes communicating online an absolute must, and Jason’s counsel came at a great time. Apparently my blog posts are too long!

The great thing about learning is that you don’t know what you don’t know until you know that you don’t know it. When you stumble into that area of ‘unknowingness,’ like the wilderness, you start to find your way around and learn new things. It’s better to deal with the unknown than the unknowable.

Colleagues Dominique Isbecque and Lynne Marks also facilitated great communication-based presentations. It was great learning from Dominique about profiling people in order to effectively provide value, while Lynne’s program was at least as much about listening as it was about conversing.

Liz Weinstein also facilitated a program I thoroughly enjoyed. She’s a great corporate presenter and makes it look rather easy. But I think part of the secret to her success is how she uses activities to engage participants as she did with us. It was also the point of her helpful program and really got me thinking about new ways to present material.

It was my pleasure to share knowledge with colleagues about men’s neckwear. The tie may be a small piece of cloth, but it carries a big message about its wearer. Like all clothing, it can tell an authentic story as much as it can help the wearer overcome personal challenges and communicate strength. I had a blast and invited people to stay afterward for a question and answer session. About a third of the participants took the opportunity to stick around.

The conference got me all fired up to keep learning and sharing, and to stay focused on helping my clients, present and future.

Welcome to my presentation!

The participants preparing for the program

Neckwear

Sarah Brummitt from London participating in a demonstration

More sharing information, post workshop

Getting all Hollywood with Sherlyn Fox

Messing with Texas: Bethany Buice Siggins and Deborah King

Canadian Queens Zayna Mosam and Karen Brunger
(Hey, I’m not Canadian!)

Designing and managing your image is the secret science of your success.

Joseph Rosenfeld helps professional men, women, and corporate workgroups create effective visual brands. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.