“Someone gave me a piece of advice once, my first manager Lucien Hold. He said, ‘If you do stand-up about your own life, no one can steal it.' I always thought that was the best piece of advice.” – Mike Birbiglia, Born Jun. 20, 1978.
Here is a neat trick to turn practically any piece of information into a unique, branded message when you share it with your audience.
Take the information you want to convey, and instead of telling it directly, weave it into a story about yourself.
How have you applied that information in your life? How did you learn it? Who from? How has it helped?
By wrapping a personal story around the make it entertaining, and easier to recall, and more likely to be absorbed…
But you also tell a story about yourself. Vanity aside, stories about you are how your audience comes to know you. It's how you create the illusion that they really do know you – your values, your struggles, your actual life.
And it makes a unique delivery system for that information. It makes it so no one can deliver the same info in the same way. You've given it a fingerprint. You've put your mark on it.
And hopefully, you're forever tied to that idea. Remembering the thought later on, your follower remembers you, as well. Warmly.
For an example of how easy this is to do, consider the quote from today. What Mike's agent told him is a decent piece of information. But if you told that to someone by itself, it may not stick. It may not click. It may be forgotten or even disregarded.
But look at how Mike delivered that piece of information. It's a quote from his agent, for which he is grateful. Delivering it this way tells you so many things about Mike Birbiglia, subtly – but you pick up on it.
1. It's his first agent, not his current agent, so he's been a comedian for a while.
2. He is humble enough to take advice.
3. He is grateful for this early mentoring, making him a figure who grows and evolves in his profession.
4. It's presumed Mike follows this advice.
5. You pick up that having your material stolen is a concern.
And probably more.
I just love that it's a self proving example. Rather than simply dispensing advice, the presentation instead dispenses the advice AND conveys a surprising amount of information about the person presenting the advice.
Information that, in this case, positions the presenter as a more favorable, relatable, and knowable person.
That builds familiarity.
Familiarity breeds trust.
Trust eventually can become profit.