Are you ‘just another’ accountant, lawyer, surveyor, speaker, trainer or whatever? Really? But you’re you. No one else can be you. The real you.
The winner of the 2016 TV series of Britian’s Got Talent (BGT) was Richard Jones. A magician. And a soldier.
When interviewed* Richard explains that from the outset he was determined to be who he really is. He is a soldier who does magic. He does both. That’s his story. He says he was always going to involve his personal spin on what he did because that’s who he is. And that’s what he’s always done.
“A lot of magicians do the same kind of things, the same kinds of tricks. But something that people really connect to, when you’re performing magic, is if you come across in a more personal way. If you’re a lawyer and you’re doing magic, tell them you’re a lawyer and doing magic. I think that makes you more approachable. I feel it makes you more interesting because you’re not this guy who does crazy stuff, you are a real person, more on the level of anyone who’s watching”
When I speak about how professionals can STAND OUT from their peers and competitors I make a similar point. Be you and reveal a little more of who you really are if you want to be seen (and remembered) as more than ‘just another’ person doing what you do. This is especially easy if you have an unusual hobby or interest. But that’s not a requisite.
When I moved into professional speaking I looked back over my own career. It was clear that I had long stood out from many of my peers and that this was a key reason why I had been promoted, headhunted twice and invited to join and Chair various professional committees.
Of course my experience and expertise within the accounting profession were also important. But what made me stand out from others? I can invariably trace this back to my willingness to stand up and speak in public, to present effectively and to engage with audiences. And these skills are a direct consequence of my interest in magic and the fact that I have used magic to entertain audiences since my early teens.
I’m a speaker and a magician who originally trained as an accountant. That’s who I am. Sharing it, however briefly, during my talks helps me to STAND OUT in a positive way. Using magic tricks to emphasise key points adds to the entertainment quality of my talks. It also help make them more memorable and me more referable. This all helps others to think of me as more than ‘just another’ speaker.
Just to be clear, none of this is enough. Audiences and bookers need to gain plenty of value from my talks. Standing Out alone doesn’t lead to repeat bookings and recommendations. Fortunately, I have plenty of these too 😉
It’s the same in any profession. You need to be good at what you do to if you want to win more business and more work. But revealing, and maybe even embracing, who you really are can make all the difference. Richard Jones wasn’t just another magician competing on BGT. He was a soldier who was also a magician. And the first magician to win this annual competition. Even if you don’t have an unusual interest or hobby there will invariably be some distinct facet of your life experiences or background. Don’t hide who you really are.
What’s your ‘inner magic’? Who are you – beyond your professional role and your business activity? How could you use your ‘inner magic’ to stand out from others who do what you do?