Do you remember show and tell from your primary school days?
If you can't recall the simple days of sitting in a circle and showing off your new favourite toy to the rest of your class or telling them all about how you went to your Gran's house at the weekend, perhaps this official definition can help:
a teaching method, used especially in teaching young children, in which pupils are encouraged to bring items they have selected to class and describe them to their classmates.
In today's society of oversharing and logging every little thing that we do on the internet, you'd be forgiven for thinking show and tell was a modern creation, but the concept of using these two methods to explain something that had happened can be found in Shakespeare's Coriolanus, with the line: "...for if he shows us his wounds and tells us his deeds…".
So, where exactly are we going with this? As a content marketing agency in 2015, where does show and tell fit into our workplace?
Love to learn and share
At Axonn, one of our six core values is that we love to learn and share. A concept that can be represented with this image:
It can also be represented through the power of show and tell, something we've been encouraging members of the editorial team to get involved in over the past few months.
Although we're all on the path to becoming more T-shaped - look, I just showed you my newly-discovered image-creating skills above - many members of the team joined the company as writers, and that's where our hearts, and many of our daily tasks, still lie.
In the past, stereotypes have suggested that writers are more likely to be quiet, introverted people and while this obviously isn't true of everyone on the team, a few people - including myself - certainly fall into this category.
As some of us tend to keep ourselves to ourselves, our work doesn't always get the recognition it deserves, so, taking inspiration from the great Baldrick, a couple of us hatched a cunning plan.
Look, more image-creating skills!
We decided to take proceedings back to primary school-esque basics and run monthly show and tell sessions for our editorial team. And we like to think we've had much more success than Baldrick - so far, at least.
The power of show and tell
Each month, we ask team members to put forward a piece of work that they'd like to show off to the rest of the group or to think of a piece of feedback from a client that they're proud of and bring it along to tell us about.
We screenshare the articles with everyone, including our homeworkers, so that we can all get involved and marvel at each other's content marketing masterpieces.
Not only does this make us more confident about what we're doing, it gives us inspiration for content ideas and strategies for other clients that we work on.
It also gives us the chance to collaborate and be a little less siloed. Although we all shelter under the editorial umbrella, we all belong to different pods and sit at different desks all over the country, so we don't always know what each other is producing on a day-to-day basis.
What's more, it makes us take a step back to think about what we're doing and why, so we're improving our analytical skills along the way and changing our mindset to how we approach our work.
A few people have even admitted to producing particular pieces of content with show and tell in mind, because they want to create something they're proud of showing off to the rest of the group.
Overall, we've found that it makes the team feel better about themselves and the content that they're producing, and that can't be a bad thing for the company or our clients, can it?
We also honour the original show and tell model and all sit in a circle. We allow chairs though. And as an extra incentive, biscuits are usually provided. Who can say no to getting involved in that?
What's in it for you?
So, why are we telling you all this?
We believe it shows that we want to make every piece of content that we produce for our clients something that we're proud of - work that even the quietest of writers are happy to show off in front of their peers, and the rest of the internet for that matter.
Show and tell also perfectly complements each of our six core values. Here's why:
If better is possible, good is not enough
Embrace and drive creative ideas
Take personal responsibility for success - sometimes this has to involve a teensy bit of showing off, otherwise we wouldn't know about some of the great stuff that is created by our agency.
Make good things happen - making people think hard and feel good about their work is a good thing. And we make that happen.
Love to learn and share - we've already covered this one. See picture of Cher above.
Make it fun - what could be more fun than show and tell?
Sometimes, stripping things back to primary school basics can really work. Less is more and all that.