Do you try so hard to blend in and conform that you are making yourself invisible?

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Picture this: You’ve been invited to speak at a huge international seminar and address thousands of your ideal clients. This is your chance to mingle with the most influential speakers in your field and finally make your mark. You’ve prepared and rehearsed your presentation, worked hard on your handouts and materials and found a dress that portrays the perfect image. Your oversees flight arrives on time and you’re feeling optimistic and confident. Until you reach baggage claim. Your luggage doesn’t show.  You’re hopeful that it will  arrive at your hotel later that day but by evening, your bags haven’t been found. What would you do? Would you run around trying to replace that perfect outfit and show up at the podium the following morning looking polished and professional but feeling harried and exhausted? Or rest up and continue to have faith that your bags will show by morning?

After reading a post this morning by a speaker who arrived in Europe (sans luggage) to speak to her ideal audience, I thought about what I would do. Actually, I never check luggage, but assuming I did and it didn’t arrive, what would I do? I knew without a doubt that I would use this unfortunate fate to my advantage. I would do one of the following:

I’d go down to the hotel gift shop and purchase a pair of pajamas or something several sizes too large.

I’d bribe the head of house-keeping into selling me a maids outfit.

I’d get to bed early, get plenty of rest and if my suitcase didn’t show by morning, I’d approach the podium in the ill-fitting outfit, maid’s dress or my PJs, apologize for my  appearance, briefly tell my story and go on with the planned presentation.

Would I look ridiculous? You bet! Would people remember me? They sure would. Would they be able to relate to and empathize with me? Yes. I would hope my talk would make an impression regardless but it never hurts to add a visual to associate with my name and message, right? Ideally, you don’t depend on mishaps and goofy apparel to make you memorable but do you try so hard to blend in and conform that you are making yourself invisible?

How can YOU turn an inconvenient situation into a chance to stand out from the crowd?

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