Just back from my High School reunion — first time I’d seen most of those folks since we walked those many years ago. It was with mixed feelings that I attended, but I’m glad I did.One thing I found interesting with communication implications is that people entertained the small talk about the here and now — 2.7 kids and a white picket fence — whatever. But what folks seemed to remember is that lasting impression from decades ago. Regardless of what I have become, who I hang out with now, what is important to me now, and where I am headed, to this group, I will always be known for what I did (and didn’t) do a long time ago.While several folks said I had changed little (at least on the outside), I’d probably say there has been monumental change. But in an evening dinner and afternoon picnic, there is little or no way to change the impression of what I am to these folk. The pressure is perhaps even greater when a speaker has limited time to make an impression. And it’s exacerbated by the fact that so many outside influences (bio blurb, previous speakers, general tone of a conference, what the lineup of salesmen who have come before) go into crafting that impression as well. Truly it is a daunting task to leave an accurate impression in the minds of any audience.
Craft that reputation carefully — it will be what lasts in the minds of your audience.
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