Estimated reading time: 3 mins
It’s nice to be remembered. And I don’t just mean for vanity’s sake. When we create a lasting impression in someone, they’re much more likely to remember us when a job opportunity comes along!
How do we become ‘memorable’?
To start, we gotta be something different. Would you remember one standard carrot from the next in the grocery section? But you might remember one that looked like Barack Obama. Being memorable is about standing out.
But it’s not just about being amusing, or shocking, or somehow bizarre. Standing out is being different, and for that difference to be tangible.
Dare I say it – we need to be pigeon-hole-able. We’re told that we shouldn’t pigeon-hole people, but in truth, that’s what we do by nature. So being memorable is about being THAT person who springs to mind when a subject comes up, such as a job opportunity. I’m the innovator. I’m the cancer-survivor. I’m the guy who can talk business about tech-stuff. That’s how I am pigeon-holed to my colleagues and friends.
How Do We Communicate How We’re Different?
Errr… tell them? OK, not so simple. We can’t just blast out on broadcast mode to everyone we see. People have to be receptive, and then influenced – to connect ‘you’ in their memory-banks to something they have experienced and understand.
Here’s what I know works for me.
- Telling stories. A story is a great way of communicating ‘you’. A story is much more memorable than a series of statements. Listeners construct the story in the head, then gaps filled in by imagination. Use stories to create a strong memory of you. For example, rather than telling people what you do, tell them a story about a situation you applied yourself in.
- Humor. Most people like to be amused, and communicate amusement. Humor is spread (if it is good) and it makes people happy, and creates happy memories.
- Emotion. Do you remember someone if they cried in front of you? Yes, probably. But I am not advising using a flood of tears! Thing is, emotion is contagious. Emotion is shared. Emotion is more easily remembered. Emotion comes in many forms, but it’s usually expressed as a feeling. So talk about your feelings about something – share how something impacted you personally, good and bad. It’s a good chance that other people will share this emotion, in part, and then you have got them!
- Opinion. There is a clear difference between a fact and an opinion. Opinions come from you, and they’re an embellishment or protraction of facts. Sure, opinion can divide a room, but it sparks debate and emotion (see above). Use your judgment… expressing an opinion about something provocative can backfire on you!
- Failures. Becoming memorable is about helping people form an impression of you as a person. You’ll talk about the good things, but why not talk about the bad things too? Somehow, people tune into failure more – I guess because it alerts people to risk (opinion!). However it works, talking about failures, problems or issues – if done appropriately, and not done as a whine – provide a more balance impression of you.
- Inspiration. Inspiring someone is a gift, and it’s also a reward to you. When we inspire, we create a desire for action and it’s normally connected to emotion (again). You can inspire by telling people a story (get the picture?) of overcoming drastic odds, an insurmountable problem, or achieving something beyond hope. It’s a story, after all.