Posted June 20, 2014
One of the things I love about going to the coffee shop is overhearing conversations. This one in particular caught my attention in not just what was talked about but in the way things were presented. As a freelance web developer and as a part time photographer I often have to try to sell myself to a potential client and give them reasons why they should hire me. As a web developer I can show websites that I have worked on. As a photographer I can show them my portfolio. There are other jobs that require more selling and convincing. In hearing this conversation, I don’t know if I was sold.
There was a mother talking to another lady. From what I can gather, the mother was interviewing the lady about possibly hiring her to be her nanny. I only caught bits and pieces of the conversation but I could tell that the lady was confident. I feel confidence is a definite must in these kind of interviews but confidence can quickly turn into arrogance depending on the way it’s presented. For example, when the matter of cooking came up, the lady’s answer was this, “Oh yes, I love to cook. Some people tell me that I should open up my own restaurant.” This was just one little sample of the overall conversation. Apparently, this lady had a lot of different jobs or interests other than being a nanny. One side job that she had was as a makeup artist. She said, “There are people who won’t let anyone else do their makeup for events other than me.” The conversation about makeup continued and later she reenforced her qualification as a makeup artist by saying, “There’s this Asian lady, she’ll only let me do her makeup.” She was a caucasian lady, and being Asian, I wasn’t offended by her statement but I found the statement kind of strange. I think what she was trying to say was that she was very versatile and could handle all kinds of skin tones. Either way, something was lost in translation.
Selling yourself can be a very difficult process. I know it is for me. I have a hard enough time talking to new people in general, let alone talking about myself to them. I also realize that there are two sides to a presentation, the presenter and the audience. The determination of whether a presentation is successful can be very subjective. I will admit, I don’t know the back story and even the exact details of this conversation. This mother could have been totally impressed and blown away by this lady. We may never know.