How to Find Your SuperPower

Aired Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Episode 134.

Do you know what is special about you? Really, I’m serious. Two years ago as I was teaching Publication Design to juniors in our graphic design program at the University of South Alabama (not to be confused with the University of Alabama–totally different schools and no affiliation with each other). Out of twenty-two students I had only taught a handful of them and I had never met the majority of the others. I think it is important to get to know the students and build their confidence. Some of the alumni may disagree because I am considered a hard teacher and regularly dish out what needs to be done to improve a piece rather than effusively complimenting the designer.

So this group of students needed a confidence boost. Early in the semester I showed Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, watch below.

And after that things changed for some but not for everyone. I know how crucial it is to present well in front of a client. After graduating our students are comfortable presenting in front of their peers and giving constructive feedback and have the thick skin to take that feedback. But after many years of teaching, I know they lacked the confidence to get up and present a formal presentation with handouts and slides. So in that Publication Design class, one of the last projects was to present something they were an expert at.

We started early in the semester because after reading, Derek Sivers’ book, Anything You Want, I knew that  we all had something we are an expert at, something that we could teach others. Many students came to me anxious and stumped as to what they could offer. This is where the SuperPower came from. We all have something to teach, something to share to make the world a better place. We all are experts to someone, you just have to find the right audience and then speak to them visually and verbally in a way that will reach them.

I asked them if they could tie their shoes, they all said “yes.” Then there are people who you could teach that to. I sat down and talked with each of them about personal stories where there was struggle and where they eventually triumphed. I told them that that is the place to tell your story, that is the place that they needed to go to in order to reach us, their audience.

Today we will discuss finding that place and finding your strengths that you think everyone possesses. After years of research and study, and after three years of interviews with various professionals from the design industry I am going to share some insight with you to help you find and reach out to your ideal clients.

 

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