At the end of my VizThink workshop on Monday, a bunch of people came up afterwards to talk about solving problems with pictures. The funniest was Richard Mulholland, the certifiable lunatic who runs the South African presentation consultancy Missing Link.
Starting out with the obligatory, "I can't draw, but..." (actually, it was more, "I draw like a $#@&-ing idiot, but...), Richard then proceeded to draw for me the best napkin sketch I've seen in months.
Richard, who as a presentation pro makes a living making first impressions, has come to the realization that first impressions don't mean a %$@! thing. (And he takes himself -- tattoos, silly hats, loud manner -- as his test case.) What *does* matter is LAST impressions.
And here's why (I'm channeling Richard now):
'Imagine that two people are competing for a consulting gig at a bank. One is a certifiable lunatic with tattoos, the other a nice looking chap with a tie and a briefcase. When they first meet the client, the former makes a terrible first impression (the client actually laughed when I walked in), and the latter makes a great first impression.' Like this:
'By the end of the meeting, Mr. Tie has said all the right things and proven his competence in completing the job, leaving an even higher last impression. But Mr. Tattoos has also said all the right things and impressed the client with his energy and competence. He leaves behind a lower overall impression, but one so far above where he began that the client is truly impressed.'
Malcolm apparently had made a pretty remarkable first impression.