Amanda Congdon in my backyard – live video!

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I was happy to see the interview video up on the Amanda Across America site late last night from our conversation last week in my backyard about life, work and introducing yourself.  I swear, we didn’t choose the cactus as a prop – it lives on our back table as these are the only kind of plants that thrive here in hotter than Hades Arizona.

Note:  This image is a still photo, not a live link to the video interview … check out the live video here!

It was a lot of fun to have Amanda and her crew here and to be part of her entrepreneurial project.

An interesting part of the discussion was our “role play” of Amanda’s struggle to introduce herself in the midst of a big career transition.  It stemmed from my post where I wrote about how many new entrepreneurs fumble when introducing themselves.  Most people know Amanda from her Rocketboom fame, but of course she doesn’t want to stay stuck in the past as she moves into new areas of her life and career.  I think our interaction perfectly models what many of us do when we are trying to explain less-than traditional work and career paths.  If you get bogged down in technical jargon, you will just feel flustered and confuse the person you are talking with.  After the camera was off, we continued the conversation and came up with an interesting gem … When people ask her what she does for a living, she could always answer “I talk with interesting people.”  If you have any suggestions for her, please leave comments on her blog!

I never realized that I was such a gesticulator … maybe I should take up puppetry or clay sculpture, since my hands obviously feel oppressed by being forced to type all the time.

9 Responses to “Amanda Congdon in my backyard – live video!”

  1. Bessed says:

    Amanda Congdon

    What are the best sites about Amanda Congdon? We’ve started with these. What else should be here?
    1. Amanda Congdon – Official Web site of Amanda Congdon including her resume, contact information, headshots, and more. (
    2. Ama…

  2. Jef Cumps says:

    Hi Pam, great interview. I especially like (and recognize) the part about starting to think about what kind of life you want to live instead of starting with the job you want to do. It is by discovering that I got the most of my energy out of non-job related things that I started thinking about what I want to do and who I want to be in the future. So, now I’ll first start thinking about what my ideal day would be. And buy myself a little notebook! 😉

  3. Great interview. Thanks for pointing us to it. I think you come across very professional and personable. I personally love getting to see the online mentors I have “in action” in this way because it brings people to life for me.

    Of course your humor: “I never realized that I was such a gesticulator … maybe I should take up puppetry or clay sculpture, since my hands obviously feel oppressed by being forced to type all the time.” is perfect for a Monday morning laugh.

    I particularly like your advice of introducing yourself with respect to who you are becoming/where you’re going. Very important especially for people who are starting out or in transition. Acting “as if” in a way and bringing that future vision into the present.

  4. ann michael says:

    Pam that was a great interview and I’ve forwarded this to several people. Your hands are not at all distracting – in fact, they hightlight your enthusiasm and warmth.

  5. I love this interview because of what I’ve been through since I got laid off, and the strong emphasis on having an “elevator pitch” or whatever you want to call it. I even developed part of JibberJobber so that you can store individual elevator pitches (for different occassions). One of my messages is that once you get your job you’ll still need an elevator pitch… it could be about the company you work for, your department, a current project, or all of the above! It was awesome to see Amanda, who is very accomplished, struggle with how to describe her new situation… and it isn’t easy! But it can be fluid, so work on it and get it right, and then revisit it regularly!

  6. Mark says:

    More about hands. I’ve interviewed a number of college instructors. Several of them have explained why they dislike the “document camera” setups in classrooms. Unlike an overhead projector, where your hand shows up as a shadow, the document camera shows your hand in all its detail and warm fleshy color, often larger-than-life, in front of everyone. I never realized how self-conscious we could be about our hands. Like our faces or our handwriting, they express us uniquely and intimately. For what it’s worth, I didn’t find your gesticulation distracting, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed it had I not read your posting before watching the video.

  7. Clintus says:

    Hello fellow Arizonian. Is that a word? Anyways, glad to see a fellow blogger in AZ. I think your the 2nd one I’ve found. Cya around the dessert.

  8. candice says:

    I’ve been video-interviewed a couple of times recently and found out that I talk a lot with my hands. And I have really long skinny fingers. It’s so odd to see yourself on camera.

    And I just tell people that I do consulting for a living, or that I’m a programmer doing same, and that seems to work? Not going into too much detail seems to work best.

  9. Keith Handy says:

    I’ll mention something similar here to what I put in the comments of Amanda’s video blog — coming up with that short description of what you do is a toughie, but I do like the half-ironic tag line on my own blog, which is simply “I HEAR CHORD PROGRESSIONS”. (A parody of “I see dead people”, which I hope people get immediately.) It’s bittersweet and manages to proudly boast a gift/curse duality in a mere four words.

    Would I say it to a stranger in an elevator? My first thought is “only if I want to give them the willies”, but maybe my problem is that I’ve been too chicken myself to give it a try and see what happens. What have I got to lose? 🙂