The other day, I listened to the most mind-numbingly boring webinar I’ve ever heard. It was awful, which was a huge shame because a company was doing it to promote their services and enhance their brand.
When you’re reading blogs like this one, you hear about all those things you should be doing to promote your brand. Write a blog, do a webinar, etc, etc. But it’s really not enough to just do the blog or webinar – you need to engage people and pull them in when you do so. And that’s the harder part – as I saw so clearly in the boring product development webinar I witnessed the other day.
Here are two things you must do if you want to bring people in when you’re making a presentation about your personal brand.
Show your enthusiasm
At the end of the über boring presentation, I was shocked to hear the speaker say in his dreary monotone: “I hope that you’ve come out of here today inspired by my enthusiasm and motivated to get to work.” What?!!! Honestly, I had no idea that he was really interested in the subject. I thought he was just going through the motions because not one aspect of his voice conveyed that he was engaged.
If you’re enthusiastic about something, you need to show it. That can make all the difference in the world about getting your message across and make people want to learn more. Not sure of that approach? It works.
When I was in middle school, the high school economics professor stopped by my math class to interest the incoming 9th graders in taking his AP Microeconomics class. I’d never considered taking an economics class, much less an advanced, intense one. But Mr Rowe spoke with such enthusiasm about economics that by the end of the class, most of us has signed up for the next year. And throughout the year, he never let up. He pounded college-level economics into the brains of 9th graders with such enthusiasm and interest that we absolutely adored his class.
Enthusiasm matters. Twenty minutes after the monotone product development webinar I listen to last week, I couldn’t remember what it was about. Nearly 15 years after my 9th grade economics class, I – a Classical Languages major in college who never took another economics class – can still discuss supply and demand on a high level.
The presentor in the webinar gave us plenty of useful information. I think. To be honest, the only part I remember is him saying “It’s all about getting the right product at the right place at the right time.”
Why didn’t I remember anything from a webinar that was really relevant to my field? Because the entire webinar was conducted in boring generalizations. “You should do this…” “It’s really important to do that…”
The human mind isn’t designed to remember particles of information. Instead, stories are what stick. We might not remember where or when Benjamin Franklin was born, but we’ll always remember that story about him taking a kite with a key attached out into a thunderstorm.
If you’re talking about your business or something that you personally do, you have all the stories you need. You just need to bring them out. Instead of talking in general about the right product at the right place at the right time, talk about how Steve Jobs timed the market perfectly in bringing out the iPod/iPhone/iPad. Or use an example that you worked on for your industry – and how it came about. It’s the story that will make the difference.
Trust me, making sure you include enthusiasm and stories in whatever personal branding vehicle you choose will make a huge difference. They will draw your audience in and help them to remember you – which is the whole point of doing those activities in the first place.
Katie Konrath blogs about creativity, innovation and “ideas so fresh… they should be slapped” at www.getfreshminds.com. She works for leading innovation company, Ideas To Go.