Own Your Personal Brand | Jenni Flinders | TEDxBellevueCollege

Own Your Personal Brand | Jenni Flinders | TEDxBellevueCollege

Reviewer: Reiko Bovee How many of you woke up this morning and consciously thought
of your personal brand or coming here and making
a great first impression? Anyone? I didn’t think so. (Laughter) OK, you know that time
when you’re lying in your bed, it’s early morning,
it’s still dark outside. In fact you shouldn’t even be awake. But guess what? You are. You probably have a job interview
or a big exam, and it’s making you nervous and your heart’s racing
just that little bit faster, and you know that any minute now
that alarm clock to going off violently next to your bed, right? And guess what; reality sets in,
and you can’t escape the day. Many years ago
in the beginning of my career I found myself lying in my bed
comfortable, warm, and safe but knowing that I had
a big day ahead of me. I had my first marketing strategy review. And what made it worse? I was presenting to an international team
of very senior executives. And guess what? They’re smart, they’re hard
to please, and fast to decide. So as I’m getting ready, I realize, not only do I have to tell
this compelling story today, but I have to look the part, professional. So I grab one of, what I call,
my power suit, and no, it doesn’t have a cape,
or spurt out pixie dust, it just looks good. So, I’m in my power suit,
and I get in the driver’s seat of my car, and I drive to the office
silently rehearsing my opening comments. Now here’s the deal; I decide to get
to that conference room 30 minutes early. Do you want to know why? Not because I just want
to be on time and prompt, it’s a little bit smarter than that; I want to gauge the room. I want to observe the body language, and I want to get a sense
of the mood in the room, so if necessary I can adjust my delivery because I’m not the only one
that’s been presenting that day. The agenda moves on, it’s my turn. I walk into this room holding my head
up high, up to the presenters table. Even though my nerves are killing me, the palms of my hands are even
getting a little bit clammy, but you don’t show anyone, right? You just keep it together,
those shoulders are straight, and I walk in, and I present everyone
with this warm welcoming smile. I’m still keeping my shoulders back because you want to have that power pose. And I deliberately make eye contact
with the executive panel in front of me that I’m about to present to. And I begin my opening comments,
looking at them straight in the eye with confidence
because I’m going to own this. Well guess what, it works. I capture their attention, and I keep it while I tell them about this business
problem and a very creative solution. Basically all I’m doing is I am telling
a story that is painting a picture on the opportunity that I just created. Well, guess what? The next thing I know, I’m being promoted
and moved to another continent. So I wanted to share
that brief example with you because that is how impactful
and how powerful making that first great impression can be. If I mess that up who knows. You don’t get a second chance. And under a few seconds,
people will make observations about other people, situations,
or environments, and turn those observations into opinions. And we do it so quickly. Then you add to it the pace
at which technology is evolving. It’s absolutely incredible. I just mention the words “social media,” and I’m sure I’ll get
a smile from all of you. Social media has given you
a new platform to promote yourself and represent yourself. And you’ll agree with me that there’s pretty much an app
for anything out there, right? Here’s what you won’t be able to order
online or download via an app today: your image, your personal brand, and your ability to correctly apply
professional etiquette in the work environment. So guess what? For the next few minutes I’m as close
as you’re going to get to that app. So put your phones down,
start to download now. And here’s the reason:
For the last 25 years I’ve built relationships across the globe. And to do that well, I had to really
consciously develop my social smarts, I had to develop the ability
to create these great first impressions, and most importantly,
to build my personal brand. Today I run seminars,
and I think I’ve got the best job because I work with people and help
them identify what their brand is, by, not only by what they do but why they do it,
and why it matters to them. When you need to show up I’ll help you bring the best version
of you that you can. You know this, building trust-based
relationships today doesn’t happen by the click of a button. It is a process that requires
human interaction, authentic human interaction. And you’ll agree with me, relationships both in your personal
and professional life take a lot of work. So here’s the thing; the way you show up,
the image you project, the first impression you create
will ultimately inform people how you want to be treated. Because they’re going to look
at the non-verbals: What’s your body language, your attire? Do you have eye-contact,
or the lack thereof? Are you really listening? The tone of your voice. So you’re probably sitting there
in your seats going, “That’s not completely fair.
So, people think about all of these?” Well yeah, they do. You know how the old adage goes, right?
“Judging a book by its cover”? Well, guess what; we all do it,
it’s human nature, and the reason being is our brains, our imaginations,
first of all, are so powerful. Our brains are filled with data points
that become these preferences for how we perceive others
in that first encounter. Think about the minute
you first fell in love. That was your preference. It’s incredible, as humans we will take an image, an object, a situation, and we will start to fill in the blanks based on what we see, what we don’t see, or guess what, what you want to see. It’s human nature; we all do it. So okay, you get it right? First impressions matter. But so does your personal brand,
and that matters even more. So what do I mean by personal brand? Well, I’m a brand. You’re a brand. Collectively in this room we are a brand whether you are consciously
building it or not. In this case, your personal brand –
think about it – it’s the intellectual, visual, and emotional impression
people have when they think of you. That would be their summary
of you in their mind, in an unspoken instance. Now, your personal brand can
be so powerful and impactful; it can sell you, differentiate you,
and set you apart from others. But you need to ask yourself: is the personal brand
that I have right now today the most accurate
and impactful one for me? See, here’s the thing; we can all –
you can do it, I can do it – we can all fake those first few seconds
of that first impression, right? We all know how to show up well
when we want to. We know how to do that,
so you can fake that. Don’t ever fake your personal brand;
that has to be authentic to be accurate. It’s got to be authentic to be accurate. And in this case you want
your personal brand to be the result of a sustained effort to be the very best version
of you that you can be. So, if you’re at version 1.0,
how do you get to 1.5 and 2.0 and 2.5 as you grow your career
and your personal life? All experiences that you will gain
throughout your life is only going to add to your brand. So where do you start? Well, I’m sure you’ve all
researched a project this week, maybe some of you have
researched a recipe or a book. But how about you start
doing research on yourself? I’m going to share with you
a couple of questions that you can actually ask yourself
and start writing these answers down because they will be very leading into helping you identify
your personal brand. And it’s only a subset
of what we can really dive into, but I think you’ll get my point. So start with you first. And it’s easy to say,
“What are you passionate about?” “I love red cars,” well, no.
That’s not it. What are you really passionate about?
What do you love doing the most? Think about that, because sometimes
it’s not that easy to answer when you really think about what you
want to be passionate about in life. And then start thinking about
what are your strongest attributes. What sets you apart? What do you rock at? If I were to ask you to summarize you
in a little two minute story for me, what would you say? Think about that. Now I want you to take a step
outside of yourself for a second, and think about
how others will perceive you. Do they think you’re as good
as what you think you’re good at? Do they know what your passions are? How would they describe you
when you’re not in the room? How would somebody summarize you
if they are referring you for a job or an opportunity? What would they say about you? Think about that: Have you ever
thought about that? So here’s what I will implore you to do: Go and seek the feedback from family, friends, work colleagues,
people around you that know you, and ask them to tell you
how they would describe you. That should give you a good summation
of what your current brand is. So you think about those questions,
you write those answers down, and you start describing yourself
as an own brand. You have to start doing this,
you have to start living it. And I mean really living it
because the more you practice, the better your ability is going
to get to tell your story. You got to be able to tell your story. But here’s a word of caution:
I mentioned social media earlier? Please be consistent
across all your social media profiles in how you articulate you and your brand. Do not work on a professional brand and have your social media accounts
demonstrate something different. I think you know what I mean. Right? I say you are what you post. Be careful. Be smart. Think. And if you have any doubts,
don’t hit that button. Don’t post it. Think about it, but make sure,
please, across all these platforms – and we have so many
social media platforms – that you have a consistent profile. Your profile should very briefly describe
you and peak people’s interest. And then the hard work starts because now you have to start
nurturing networks around you that are going to be
influential in your life. And people are going to refer to you, because your brand is going
to become your trademark, and people will refer to you
based on what your brand entails. So take some time and assess
where you are with your current brand and start thinking of ways
that you can make it better. So now it’s your turn. If ever you find yourself in a situation
like I did, and I’m positive you will. Make sure to take that deep breathe,
observe the environment around you first. Raise that conscious
awareness of yourself: social and situational smarts. And when you need to show up,
make a great impression. Be able to articulate your brand
based on experiences. And here’s the thing;
life is just a series of moments. Here’s what I ask of you. Show up well, build a brand
that is authentically you. If you do that, you can make
every moment count. Thank you. (Applause)

Comments (25)

  1. Love you, Jenni. You set a fabulous example for others.

  2. Great job, Jenni! Glad we had the chance to do this together.

  3. Simply Excellent! Youre Amazing

  4. Atta Baby Jenni!

  5. Great message, Jenni! Find your brand. Thank you!

  6. She looks gorgeous!

  7. What a great video. Thank you Jenni ill be sure to show them to my students.

  8. She is beautiful.

  9. I hope i had such a teacher at my school.

  10. Image?Persona and first impressions are ridiculously shallow and meaningless..Let us evolve beyond the first encounter .

  11. Build a brand??? Lol, it used to be called, being an "Original God Created me to be!!!" Still is, for many. The Lord's carpentress 🙏🙌😇

  12. Of course she got that job cause she is this blond bombshell with blue eyes and executives are 95% men ! No brainer really . She said it herself : they will observe you, the way you show up , your body language , the image you project , tone of your voice, your attire , what you wear .

  13. THINK abt what she sais>the 1st impresion informs ppl how you wanted to be treated! why would that be an isue though?does that mean that if your alure informs them that you are sensitive to be picked upon fragile to crack or tolerant they l go on n have fun or take advantage of you bcoz they know you are tolerant?yes it means exactly that Does it mean that they wont value your real value if you have low self estem?yes bcoz the majority is used to valuing the strong and the popular.That sais a lot for the majority of ppl That they are ready to take advantage of others if posible whereas they wont atempt it if it sems hard to do!

  14. So wait, I'm awesome… scratch that, like super awesome. That's the takeaway right? No self defacing humor here.

  15. I now realize importance of most powerful personal branding.

  16. you are annuldqbcvgxtglyurhefrnv5y84grebhuerwghuicntyenrbg5thcothfgyb5eigbci5whgeobvybg ybgt0rt7wbctr8yhgtnr7yeujynrtiuntchyerthnuitduin y5tvaueh gyb4t76yc9104w89b79324

  17. She looks good, makes it easier! lol

  18. Excelente – Amazing

  19. If she weighed 250 pounds, with a homely face, would she have been promoted and moved to another continent?

  20. I know some seating there, in that room are like "Oh give me a break, you got your piece of the pie because you look gorgeous and that certainly impressed your bosses" LOL. But we can acknowledge that was a good piece of advise

  21. You explained this perfectly and I loved a lot of your points. I am definitely going to add that into my next video and shout you out.

  22. Sy is ‘n Afrikaner.

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