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Creative Career Path

The Forgettable Fellow2012.07.30

    If you have ever been to a networking event, then you have certainly met the forgettable fellow. Seeking out your company for an all too obvious purpose, he or she launches straight into a thinly disguised sales pitch. This is commonly known as an elevator pitch, although in most cases it seems to be going down.


    Falsely friendly, unoriginal and self-centered, this kind of introduction forces you to pretend to listen politely, all the while looking for an escape. Why do people do this? One reason could be business battle fatigue, falling into a rut of self-defeating behavior. Perhaps they are imitating a bad model, or playing it safe by being conventional. Another reason could be that they were never shown how to introduce themselves in an appealing manner.


    The hardest thing to remember about a person you have just met is often their name. It is easier to remember a face, because faces are full of visual cues and emotional associations. But names are arbitrary, abstract, and do not contain any obvious association to a person’s face, unless you make one. This is the key to being able to remember names and faces, but it takes practice and is not easy when you meet a number of people in a short time.


    Why not make it easier for the person to remember you name by adding some information about your name that makes it easier to remember? Perhaps you have a nickname? Does your name have a memorable meaning? Why did your parents choose your name? Do you have the same name as a famous person, or someone you admire? Can you morph the spelling or pronunciation of your name to make it easy to remember? Don’t be shy to talk about your name when you meet someone for the first time. Sharing even one way to help the other person think about or remember your name will greatly increase the odds of your name and you being remembered.


    Although faces are easier to remember than names, faces can also fade into the fog. While it might not be appropriate to talk about your face, you can handle it gracefully if you have a photo on your business card that captures your character. Some people use an avatar image which bears some likeness to their own face. These can be generated by computer programs, or can be sketched by a graphic artist. It can also be fun to try sketching your own self-portrait on the back of your business card, though this is more effective as an improvisation than a premeditated graphic.


    That image can be used to lead into something that is unique or representative about yourself. Talk about why you got into your current line of work, or what you dream about accomplishing in it. It can be even more memorable if you are willing to share something little known about yourself, an unusual experience, achievement, or hobby. Quirky enough to pique interest without being bizarre.


    One unique approach was designed by a company in the UK called MOO (, which prints business cards, post cards, mini cards, and stickers, with the option to print a different image on each card. A full deck of business cards, each with a unique design on the back.


    Ultimately, the idea is to have something to show and tell, before you get into what you have to sell. The forgettable fellow can never get to this stage, because nobody remembers who he or she was, including perhaps the forgettable fellow.



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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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