I think I’m memorable.
To begin with, I have a memorable name, Dia.
For those of you that are familiar with Colorado, it should be fairly easy to remember since the airport is named DIA (Denver International Airport.) My name also means “day” in Spanish and “Goddess” in Greek but much to my dismay, relating my name to the airport seems to be the best way to get people to connect with and remember my name.
If we’re talking simply surface level memorable, the fact that I’ve had purple hair or 8 years has also been a fairly easy way to make myself memorable.
I’ve also been told that I make a memorable first impression. That’s nice feedback to receive especially if you’re an introvert. As a performer, I want your attention. But when I’m off the stage, it’s harder to make connections. First of all, I’d have to go out in public and talk to people. It’s easier to stay at home and talk to my cat. But I realize I actually do have to go out, talk to people and network.
Which brings me to this years’ Longmont StartUp Week (July 22-26, 2019). LSW is a fun way to learn, brainstorm and meet people. I try to go to as many sessions as I possible. I always walk away with great ideas, tons of action items and lots of new connections.
This past week, I sat in on a networking talk since I’m always looking for more ideas on how to network effectively. The talk was right up my alley.
A few minutes after I sat down, the presenter of the talk came up to me and introduced himself, using my whole name. He told me we’d met before and then proceeded to tell me our story. I was floored by all the details he recounted.
Yes, we did meet me at a Toastmasters meeting in Longmont back in January. Yes, I did give a speech and show a video I made about my mom getting tattooed in the 4th grade by the government back in 1951. Yes, it was a very good 7 minute documentary!
Clearly, I made quite an impression on this guy, Adrian Chenault. But like I said, I think I’m memorable. Thank you for proving my point Adrian!
He got all my details right while I was still struggling to remember his face and presence in the meeting. Was he not memorable? Was I a terrible person? Is my memory really that bad?
After a few seconds, I vaguely remembered him but nothing like his level of memory of me. I was flattered, made sure to pay extra attention during his talk and determined to find a better way to remember people.
Here comes the punch line. After the talk, during the Q&A, Adrian started talking about his app, Contact Mapping. Why his entire speech wasn’t about this amazing tool is another story but let me just say, “His entire speech should have been about Contact Mapping.”
He started telling us what it does and how he uses it. Then he asked if he could use me as an example.
“Take Dia, for example,” he said. “I knew I recognized her when she came in but I couldn’t place her. I thought Toastmasters had something to do with it so I typed the word “Toast” into the app and up popped her name and all the information I had entered after meeting her in January.”
What??? You did what??? You have a magic app that does what??? Wait, so I’m not memorable? There went my hour long high.
Here is Adrian’s note about me from January.
If Adrian hadn’t disclosed how he knew all that info about me, I would never have been any the wiser. I would’ve spent the rest of my life recounting this incident, bestowing compliments upon him for his great memory and taking credit for how memorable I was.
And to think a little app helped him make me feel important and memorable. His ability to recount my information made me instantly like Adrian 100% more than if he’d simply introduced himself to me without saying how he knew me.
It’s crazy to see what one small interaction can do to change the trajectory of your connection. I’m a fan for life and I haven’t even downloaded the app yet!
As I was leaving the talk and after I gave Adrian a quick Toastmaster Evaluation on his speech (he did a great job, no filler words and he can work on not starting sentences with “so”) I was approached by another man telling me he remembered me too.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... not gonna happen. I know about the app! I was prepared for another Contact Mapping encounter; proving the superiority of the app to regular human memory.
And then this happened.
He knew me from years ago when I had a jewelry company and had purchased a necklace from me for his daughter. He simply wanted to let me know how much it has been treasured.
His memory was sharp. He recalled all specifics of when and where he bought the necklace and he even knew my name (granted he had just sat through the Q&A session so maybe that’s not as impressive but still!) He most definitely did not have my data stored in an app to refer to before we spoke.
I was impressed. Networking strategies in action. I had come looking for new ways to network effectively and I was given two hands on experiences to learn from.
These were two different modes of recalling information and two different ways of networking that had the same result.
Both worked, we connected and I felt memorable.
Dia Kline is a Blogger, Comedian and Public Speaker. ezjoLife.com, her humorous lifestyle blog, entertains and informs on topics ranging from being a Congenital Anosmic Paleo Chef to System Hacking College Tuition to Boobs and Feminism.