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What makes one person memorable and another invisible?
October 7, 2012
AIRDRIE, AB, Oct. 7, 12/ Troy Media/ – We all want to be memorable, don’t we?! OK – not for making a fool of ourselves on YouTube, but for positive, validating, purpose-driven reasons. If you are in business or even politics, being memorable is what gets you hired, referred and promoted. For a speaker, being memorable gets you booked.
When I attended the e-Women international conference this past July, I was also competing in North America’s Next Great Speaker competition. Sure, I wanted to place well in the contest, but I also hoped to leverage my time on stage as a means of getting noticed by others at the conference. After all, I deduced, there were only 10 of us on stage and over a thousand at the conference. It seemed like a great way to gain some exposure and provide an opening when networking with others.
What I discovered was that, in spite of being on stage, many people simply did not recall me – in essence, I felt invisible. There were many occasions when I was chatting with another speaker from the contest and someone would come up and congratulate them on their performance and not even realize I was standing there or had competed as well. Pondering how that was happening, I realized that I had a tendency to blend in – something I had practiced during my years in law enforcement.
So, I had to ask myself, what makes someone memorable and how could I start activating that when I wanted to be remembered?
One step to being memorable is to be different or distinctive. You want to be unique and in a good way. This could be in reference to how you are dressed, how you speak or even how you present yourself. You don’t need to be outlandish (unless that fits with your personality), but consider how you can separate yourself from the crowd. When I was in law enforcement, no one stood out particularly because we all dressed alike and shared similar body stances. Being super tall or small were the few unique definers . . . but didn’t necessarily make one particularly memorable?
Another step would be to be fully present. Make strong eye contact; adopt a body stance that is warm and receptive. Introduce yourself quickly and involve yourself in the conversation if appropriate to do so. Be responsive and friendly in your interactions.
Believe it or not, disagreeing or taking a different point of view (in a respectful way) can make you more memorable – especially if your point is a profound or thought provoking one. In contrast, waiting to be invited into the discussion will certainly help you maintain your anonymity and contribute to your ability to move about invisibly.
Look for moments of fascination in every conversation to stay fully engaged. Let’s face it, our minds tend to wander unintentionally – usually this occurs when we are uninterested or distracted by stress and imagination. Our bodies do not know the difference between imagination and reality and react to what our mind is telling us. When we wander our micro expressions (facial cues) show others that we are not tuned in to the conversation at hand and that we are neglecting the engagement that is expected.
To up your memorability factor, consider focusing more on the other person. Help them feel important. You might comment on their brilliant ideas, their attire or their worthy achievements. This will help people feel confident in your presence and will link that likeable feel good feeling to when they are hanging out with you. Now you are memorable!
If you want to ‘people watch ‘and not get busted doing it, then go ahead and blend into the background, dress conservatively and drop your gaze. However, if you want to be remembered, don’t be afraid to show off a little! Demo your sparkling personality and breathe confidence into your every movement.
Troy Media contributor Faith Wood is an internationally recognized behavioural strategist. She is the author of Life under the Limbo Bar.
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