The Illusion of the First Time

I normally wrap up an intensive workshop on communication skills, with this tip “Create the illusion of the First time” and it’s one of the tricks that some of the best public speakers in the world use more regularly than people would notice.

Picture those 2 scenarios; The first time you watch a specific someone public speaking, and you were drawn by the depth of his words and how he was in touch with yours deep inside. He was very genuine and everything he was saying was just perfect… Now picture this, it happened that you bumped into that same amazing public speaker and it happened that he was speaking about the same topic.. But now what? he was repeating exactly what he was saying the first time you met him… and not only that.. he was even “Faking Genuine emotions”

Now if I asked you how would you feel about that, you may say things like “Disappointed”, “Angry”, “Feel like being Played”… The truth is that everything you see and witness for the FIRST TIME will cause you some sort of an excitement or Fascination. And that would apply to almost everything at the FIRST TIME 

In public speaking, it is always fascinating to watch a new enthusiastic and relatively young speaker (as long as he/she is good) talking about fresh ideas or even an experienced speaker talking about SOMETHING NEW than to see a relatively old speaker talking about the same thing they have been talking about for years.

So in brief, the First Time of everything, is always memorable, you ALMOST would never forget it… and When you cannot re-create a First-Time... you can “Create The Illusion of the First time”.

As I coach Salespersons on how to communicate with customers & potential clients, I insist on having them practice this week’s tip… and Create the Illusion of the first time… over and over and over… Just imagine the impact of the sentence “I Love you” coming from a man to his loved one or from a Woman to her loved one… when it’s said in a Genuine way… like it was never every been said to anyone before or that will never get the change to be said to anyone after… 

However, if you would hear something that was “exhausted” before and repeated over and over, it will lose its SCENT…

So Creating the Illusion of the First Time requires 2 steps:

  • Memorizing the core of the message you want to deliver
  • Cheating to convey that message

The first time I used that trick, I was suppose to deliver a speech on behalf of Microsoft in one of the awards ceremony. and I had a Long 2 pages speech carefully written by PR that included the main messages. But it was fully written in Arabic… and Arabic (while I speak it fluently) was not my strongest READING language. So instead of making a fool out of my self, I practiced a different speech over and over and over. and when it was my turn to speak I did exactly the following:

I Started reading from the paper, then I stopped, continued reading silently, and then looked at the audience in a Helpless look. Everyone was giving me their full attention, (since they were preparing to laugh at me 😉 ), so I placed down the paper and said to them, that I don’t really know how to read in Arabic, and I will “Just Say few words from the heart”… and placed the paper down, showing the small notes I’ve written and started a very powerful yet emotional speech about innovation and creativity and how Microsoft was supporting innovation in the Middle East etc etc…

I left a very long impression, and most were fascinated by the “genuine” speech I made… and kept reminding me of that evening for years later 🙂 .

Hope you can use this trick in a good way.


Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project


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