“Always take the opportunity to go beyond the opportunity!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
The industry in which I work has many people finding me via word-of-mouth, search engines, and social media, or in other cases, via the many speakers bureaus that represent me. Having been at this for more than 30 years, I’ve got dozens who list me and have booked me at one time or another.
Every once in a while a new bureau hears of my representation and approaches me to see if they might be able to do business with me; I rarely turn down those who are well-established, come with a respected pedigree, and are known for displaying integrity within the industry. A few weeks, Santiago Zapata, the President of Bogota, Columbia, HiCue Speakers, approached me; I knew of them and knew I would immediately be onside. (And what an on-brand Spanish name!) He sees some opportunity to work with me throughout the South American region, particularly around the AI topic, as he seeks to expand the number of topic experts that he has in this area.
The normal course of events would have me sending a bio, a picture for the Website, and an overview of potential topics. But our world today is not in a ‘normal’ state – there is a flood of new speakers, everyone seems to be a topic expert on everything, and there is rather intense competition. I’ve always worked hard to make a first impression, believing that we should always take the opportunity to go beyond the opportunity.
With that in mind, I went into my home broadcast studio, set up a set, generated some introductory content from my good friend Briana the AI avatar – and filmed an appropriate introduction that he could share with his clients. The video is now featured on his blog, as well as going out in a mailing – in addition to an article I wrote for his blog that focuses on the issue of strategic clarity around AI.
Give the video a watch. To me, this is how you go over and above….
Knowing that I am reaching out to a Spanish audience, it seemed important to me to at least be respectful and greet them in the most common native tongue in the region. With that in mind, I had Briana my AI avatar friend speak a little bit of Spanish at the 41-second mark of the video.
In these days of crowded markets, increased competition, and collapsing attention spans, it’s important that always work hard to go above and beyond, to the extent that you can, when introducing yourself to new people and new opportunities. Take the opportunity to go beyond for the opportunity.
The funny thing is that I put this video together quickly on a Saturday a few weeks back, and after filming – and changing out of my stage clothes – I sent him a picture from the studio while in my gym shirt, with rather tousled hair. That’s the image he ended up using on his Website; rather informal, but not too bad!