Tomorrow will be my last presentation this year. In total, I will have delivered over 20 keynotes, workshops, and online webinars on personal branding in 2016. Often the core message is the same, and then I adapt the content to the particular client and event.
I am often asked, “Don’t you get bored?” I remember discussing this with a colleague some years ago and he told me that he always puts a yellow post-it note on the top of the projector or the screen of the laptop he is using that says, “Remember they are hearing this for the first time.”
No matter how familiar we are with the material, be it our work or ourselves, it is a good rule to follow.
It had me recall a disappointing part of a day out a few years ago with my kids. It was the customer service experience riding the almost 100-year-old Aero Cable Car across the Niagara gorge above the whirlpool that forms at the bottom of the falls rapids – quite a unique natural phenomenon.
In getting on the Aero car the ‘ride customer service’ person was apparently recounting his set speech for the 3,000th time this season – and it showed – I could hardly hear a word and the rapid monotone delivery did not endear me to listen hard.
He spent the whole of the first half of the trip telling people to stay off the ends of the aero car as he had instructed (except no-one had heard him) and then before the journey back he had us all shuffle around the car, so we had the opposite view going back.
Probably at least 50% of the people in the car were non-Canadian tourists and did not speak English – so he proceeded with the usual approach to dealing with non-English speaking customers – talk LOUDER and s-l-o-w-e-r!
He then proceeded to tell us it was not rocket science and to ‘come on people get with the program.’
It was a disappointing experience, and plain embarrassing. I noted down his name but could not find anyone with interest in hearing my ‘story’. In good Canadian fashion, they had to get a written version instead.
Perhaps he hated his job or was having a bad day; perhaps he was in need of the ‘Getting Your Year in Gear’ program to identify what he wants to do.
But what seems to be painfully missing from many customer interactions is that while it might well have been his 3000th trip this year – it was mine, my kids and probably most of the people in the car our first and maybe only trip.
You might be telling ‘your story’ in a performance review, interview or networking meeting for the millionth time – but the person listening is hearing it for the first time – so make sure that relaying your experience is an experience for the listener.
In a couple of weeks, we will be opening registration for our Getting Your Year in Gear program. This is a supported, resource-rich online program to help you get the most out of your personal brand over the next 12 months. To be notified when it’s open and our special reader pricing let us know by completing this form