Preparing for an industry trade show is hard enough at the best of times. It’s even harder when it’s on the other side of the World. I felt anxious because the event wasn’t for my business, it was for one of my clients. The client was Waypoint and the event was Xerocon.
It was a big deal for them. After years of attending Xerocon, the 2018 event in Brisbane would mark a milestone for Dan and his team. It would be the first time they’d exhibited at the showpiece event.
This isn’t the story of that event. It’s the story of one slide. And, more specifically it’s the story of eight words and what those words represent, not just for Waypoint, but for your business as well.
The slide in question was to be part of a rolling slideshow that would be displayed on a TV at Waypoint’s stand. The screen would be the centrepiece of our small part of Xerocon 2018. It had to look good, so the talents of Rhys from the Waypoint team were employed to bring the vision to life. As well as looking great, it also had to contain the right content and messaging. I created the initial flow of the deck and together, Rhys and I tightened it to make it as strong as it could be.
Here’s the slide in question.
“We are bloody good at what we do.”
In isolation, that could come across as arrogant, but, as with much in life, context is everything.
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. It’s something I say all the time. But where did these eight words come from? And who uttered them first? The truth is, that initially, it was one of the Waypoint team that uttered the words. We were on one of our regular video conference calls. The words came from Mat. “Do you know what, we’re bloody good at what we do Kev.”
When he said it didn’t feel like arrogance. He was earnest, passionate and above all confident. It wasn’t a throwaway line. It wasn’t glib. And, more importantly, it wasn’t baseless. It’s based on his experience of working with the team and on years of working in the software industry.
Of course, if you haven’t personally experienced working with Waypoint or any business for that matter, such claims can be met with cynicism and disbelief. “Says who? The person that works for them, of course, he’d say that.” isn’t an unreasonable thought to have.
Claims and statements like this need to be backed up. They need a supporting cast. In Waypoint’s case, that supporting cast was many and varied. We peppered them throughout the rolling slideshow. Here’s the different supporting cast that we included.
Together they back up Mat’s claim. They act as the proof that he’s not just being boastful or braggadocious. They basically say “Waypoint are bloody good at what they do.” in their own way.
If you’re bloody good at what you do, you need to start telling people. Think of it this way, if you’re not confident in yourself, why should anyone else have confidence in you? I’ve been guilty of being overly humble and at times self-effacing. In short, I’ve had a tendency to be very ‘British’ about things. And I don’t think I’m alone.
I realise that the whole concept of ‘Britishness’ is somewhat controversial right now, but I’m talking here specifically about the almost apologetic nature of how we present ourselves. Whether we’re Irish, Scottish, Welsh or English, we seem to worry more about what people will think of us if we show the merest sign of confidence in ourselves.
I think we need to change gears. I think if we’re genuinely good at what we do, it’s time to put our hand up and say –
‘Hello, over here, if you want ENTER SERVICE HERE, we’re rather ruddy marvellous at it, but don’t take our word for it.’
It’s time. I truly believe that.
Right now there are people out there that you can help. They have a problem that you can bloody brilliantly solve. You can change their business for the better. In doing so, you can change people’s lives. I know, I know – I went there. Might sound a bit much, but I believe it, I really do.
It might be the life of the business owner, meaning she can sleep easier at night knowing her biggest problem is finally taken care of. Or, it might be a member of the team who can now perform a task in a fraction of the time thanks to something you’ve implemented.
In both these scenarios, you’ve made a difference and an impact. Don’t you want more of that? I know I do.
Having confidence in ourselves and backing up that confidence with the stories of the work we do will help the right people find you. You’ll do more of the work you’re meant to do with the people you can best help.
I want you to do what Waypoint did. I want you to put your hand up and let people know that you can help them. I want you to find your own supporting cast so that your new found confidence doesn’t stand alone. It starts with one story. What story can you tell today that will showcase what you do and the results your clients can expect? You’ll probably have a lot, but keep it simple. Start with one. Focus on telling that.
And, if you need any help, this is me putting my hand up. Bringing stories to life is what I’m bloody good at.
I'm a storyteller, case study specialist and the founder of The Story Edge. I want more people to tell more stories. I write stories, teach people to do the same and generally encourage people to use storytelling in their business.