What Makes You Unique?

Posted by Kristin Arnold on March 26, 2013

Last week, I attended the ISA-Association of Learning Providers’ Annual Business Retreat where we heard Jeanne Bliss speak about customer loyalty. About a minute into her speech, she laughed….and then snorted.  Yes, like a pig!  She continued to laugh and explained that she’s from the midwest and somehow learned how to laugh with the pigs.  She then warned us that when she laughs, she snorts from time to time.  Sure enough, she snorted several times during her presentation.

Initially, I was a little caught off guard.  Really?  A woman who snorts?  Thankful that she had provided some kind of disclaimer, her speech was well crafted and kept me engaged with stories, examples, and activities that demonstrated key concepts from her book, I Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.  So an occasional snort here and there just made me giggle (on the inside).

A few days ago, a coaching client asked me about vocalized pauses (ums, likes, you know) and whether I could teach people to stop saying them.  My answer?  Yes, people can be taught to minimize vocalized pauses, but usually there are bigger fish to fry in the coaching relationship – unless those ticks are really annoying.

Which made me think of Jeanne.  Were her snorts a vocalization that needed to be minimized?  Or were they uniquely different to Jeanne?  The fact that I have thought about her presentation and talked about it to at least five people in the last week makes me think otherwise.  Her snorts are sticky.  They are unusual and therefore memorable.

Whatever makes you unique, don’t try to hide it because no one else does that…or that’s not what “good” presenters do.  Be yourself when giving a presentation.  Show your passion.  Be genuine and authentic.  Be YOU.  You and your presentation will be much more memorable.

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