My logo can help you be a better speaker – here’s how

Even if you’re a regular reader here, it’s quite unlikely you know what my logo looks like. So check it out:
Equilateral triangle with one angle coloured red, another coloured green and the third coloured blue

The logo’s shape and colours represent tech­niques you can use

The logo’s shape and colours represent techniques you can use to make your public speaking more effective. In this post, you’ll find:

  • What those techniques are.
  • Links where you can learn more.

If you’re short of time, you can click a heading in this post’s contents list:

 

Here’s why I’m writing this now Scroll to Contents ↑

I’ve been blogging here for almost 10 years, yet I’ve only briefly explained my logo. So this post’s well overdue! (And by the way, if you’re curious about my blog’s name, you can read why it’s called Remote Possibilities.)

Let me start, then, by saying what inspired me to finally write about my logo

It began with my latest visit to Manner of Speaking, the blog by John Zimmer. (Whenever you’re looking for public-speaking tips, do check that out.)

Here’s what John writes about his Manner of Speaking blog (with bold added by me):

“Since May 2009, this blog has been a labour of love.
With more than 800 posts on public speaking and
presentation skills, there is something for everyone.
Almost four million visitors have stopped by…”
John Zimmer

Recently, John updated his site’s logo, and he then published a short post describing what his logo means. His post inspired me to explain my own logo – at long last!

 

Why a triangle? And what do the colours mean?Scroll to Contents ↑

To let you see my logo while you read about it, here it is again:

Equilateral triangle with one angle coloured red, another coloured green and the third coloured blue

It had to be a triangle!

When designing the logo, I felt very strongly that it had to be a triangle. That’s because the Rule of 3 is so central to public speaking.

The colours represent 3 essentials you can use to make your talks more effective. In fact, each essential’s an outcome of a great talk. (More on that in the table below)

As you’ll see, I’ve also paired each colour with a memory-aid word (to express the 3 essential outcomes in a more concrete and even personal way than colours can).

Here’s the thinking behind the colours and memory-aids:

Colour Outcome it represents Memory-aid word I chose the colour because it makes me think of…
Green
Help your audience act Hand, as in “work in hand” Traffic lights saying “Go” (and plants, which grow and develop)
Red
Help your audience feel  
Heart
Heat, fire, or passion (and the “lifeblood” of your message)
Blue
Help your audience think  
Head
Cold, hard facts or figures (and ink, as in the word “blueprint”)

 

Tips to help you “use the logo’s colours” in your talksScroll to Contents ↑

You might be wondering exactly how you can help your audience to act, feel, and even think in a certain way. Well, the links below give you some specific tips:

To help your audience to… Use these techniques
Act
My 3-part method helps you to ignite action with your talk
Feel
Use these 5 tips to add emotion to your talk
Think
Try these 5 tips:

 

Why’s blue at the bottom and green at the top?Scroll to Contents ↑

Facts and figures are just the “bottom rung” of any presentation

The logo rests on its blue section because, to me, facts and figures are just the “bottom rung” of any presentation.

The ultimate purpose of a talk is to ignite action, so green’s at the top – to show its importance. And one of the main ways you get “from facts to acts” is to use emotion, which is why red’s between the blue and green.

The red part of the logo faces to the left rather than the right, for a couple of reasons:

  • Mainly, that avoids the logo looking like a “play video” icon, and I’m so glad about that choice. (That’s especially true when the logo’s shown at a tiny size – like on browser tabs in Chrome.)
  • The placement also nods to the fact that the human heart – said to be our emotional core – is slightly to the left of centre in our bodies. So it seems fitting for red to be on the left.

 

I chose “body parts” to go with the colours – here’s whyScroll to Contents ↑

A few months after making the logo, I simplified the original memory-aids. The current ones relate to a post I dubbed 4 parts of your body that’ll improve your next talk (which was just the name I gave to a post by blogger John Richardson).

If you’re wondering, the fourth bodily element in John Richardson’s post was to smile. To me, it makes sense to include that with all the other ways to make people feel some­thing, rather than keep it separate. Still, I strongly agree that smiling’s vital.

Actually, the memory-aids (“hand, heart, head”) changed a lot from the originals:

  • “Hand” used to be “act” (as in “take action”)
  • “Heart” used to be “react”
  • “Head” used to be “fact” (as in “facts and figures”)

I’d chosen “act, react, fact” because they rhyme, and rhyming helps people’s recall. But those words also have 3 drawbacks that make them tricky for people to remember:

  • Crucially, “fact” (being a noun) doesn’t fit well with the verbs “act” and “react”.
  • Similarly, with 2 syllables, “react” stands out from “act” and “fact”.
  • What’s more, being fairly abstract, they’re all quite hard to represent with icons.

So in the end, I settled on using “hand, heart, head”, which have these 5 benefits that make them work well together:

  • Perhaps most importantly, they’re all the same type of word (nouns).
  • They all have the same number of syllables – just 1 each.
  • Being physical objects, they’re easy to represent with icons.
  • They also use alliteration, which makes them simpler for people to recall.
  • Lastly, being parts of the body, they help make the content personal (because they’re parts of us).

 

How does the logo compare with Manner of Speaking’s logo?Scroll to Contents ↑

At the start of this post, I mentioned that John Zimmer inspired me to write it. Interestingly, John used blue and red in his logo too – for similar reasons to me:

Manner of Speaking logo – a blue eagle with a red wing

 
John explains:

“Blue represents logos (logic) and ethos (credibility) – two of Aristotle’s three pillars of persuasion – solid, structured, trustworthy. The red wing represents pathos (emotion) – Aristotle’s third pillar of persuasion – passion, excitement, energy.”

John Zimmer

Aristotle’s 3 pillars are certainly a mainstay of public speaking, and they do have the advantage of rhyming. But because they’re ancient Greek words, I also think they’re a bit hard for most speakers to relate to these days.

That’s why I used memory-aids that’re everyday English words – “hand, heart, head” (from the 1st table, above). I’d argue they’re easier to understand and remember than “logos, ethos, pathos”.

Still, in John’s logo and mine, I find 2 aspects of our use of blue and red gratifying:

  • We used those colours for such similar reasons.
  • Yet we came up with such radically different designs.

And I must say, I admire the muted shades in John’s professionally-designed logo, avoiding vivid colours like the ones I chose for my own logo (back in 2011).

 

Your turnScroll to Contents ↑

If you’ve any feedback or suggestions about my logo, please share your thoughts. Meanwhile, all the best for the rest of the year, and I hope to see you back here in 2021!

 

Related postsScroll to Contents ↑

2 thoughts on “My logo can help you be a better speaker – here’s how

  1. Great article, Craig and very interesting to read about the thought that you put into your logo. Of course, most people will not grasp all the subtleties – just like they won’t grasp the subtleties of my logo or, indeed, the logos of many major companies – but that is less important than your logo being recognizable. All the best for continued success. And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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