Forget Tone of Voice; Find A Certain Tone of Action

I had the pleasure of speaking at the first ever Folksy Summer School a couple of weeks ago, to their burgeoning community of Designer-Makers about brands and ideas around how to talk about themselves.

The video’s just gone up here:

John V Willshire at Folksy Summer School from Folksy on Vimeo.

When writing the talk, I stumbled into a way to think about the major advantages that these brilliant, creative individuals had over established, inflexible ‘brands’, and found an interesting line of thought along thinking about not having ‘a tone of voice’, but instead demonstrating ‘a certain tone of action’.

The slides are just up here too, if you want them:

A Certain Tone of Action – Folksy Summer School August 2013 from John V Willshire





8 responses to “Forget Tone of Voice; Find A Certain Tone of Action”

  1. Love how you left it as a Minimum Viable Presentation. Works, though.

    Really interesting how this has extended your earlier thinking. An evolution, as it were. And while personal, it has that wider resonance.

    Good stuff, John.

    1. john v willshire avatar
      john v willshire

      Thanks, fella – it might be my favourite work so far, feels like it has potential to go lots of places 🙂

  2. Michael Islip avatar
    Michael Islip

    I read/watched this over the weekend and I think it’s a really, really interesting line of thinking. It makes total sense to me as someone who has spent seemingly most of my career looking at things with clients and thinking ‘this doesn’t quite make sense’.

    It poses some hard questions for agencies though as we have traditionally been on a quest for certainty: the Statement of work, the specification, the sign off – all of them very much dialectic in their approach and designed to deliver one answer. I think our challenge is how can we organise ourselves and get paid by clients to help them come up with many appropriate answers (a phrase I am going to steal (with credit) if you don’t mind). Anyway, great food for thought.

    In related news, have you ever read Fanfare for the makers by Louis MacNeice? Think you’d appreciate it.

    1. john v willshire avatar
      john v willshire

      Hey Michael – no, stealing with credit is the best way to share and improve the thinking around stuff like this. Perhaps the client issue is about finding clients who want to be hands on through the journey of discovery, rather than commisioners of certain work. They’re tough to find, of course. Off to check out Fanfare for the Makers…

  3. I love this and I LOVE how you think. “It’s not about maintaining a tone of voice. It’s about demonstrating a tone of action.” “It’s not about the means of production. It’s about the meaning in production.”

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