I was teaching a class a while back and thought I would treat my students to a beautiful chocolate cake. It had chocolate frosting with chocolate shavings on top. A real chocolate lovers experience. I asked my class who would like a slice of this delicious, mouth watering cake. A number of hands went up pretty quickly. I turned to the first person to put their hand up, took the first piece and squeezed it in my hand, making sure that the frosting oozed between my fingers. I dumped the mashed up piece of cake in their plate and then wiped my fingers clean on the side of their dish. I then handed them their treat. They looked at me with a most upset look on their face. I then turned to the rest of the class and asked “who else would like a piece of this chocolate cake?” Not surprisingly, no one wanted any. I asked those that had their hand up before why they suddenly changed their minds. I explained “it tastes the same, it has the same nutritional content, so why are you not interested in the cake now?” The answer got right to the point I was striving to make “I guess its just the way you presented it!” they declared.

I discovered a different example in a jewellers once. Whilst the jeweller had many precious stones and jewellery on display in his store there seemed to be one that stood out amongst all others as most precious. It was centre stage in the store window, elevated above the others and encased within an exclusive glass display. It was rested upon black velvet to contrast the beautiful bright shining colours that this diamond reflected in the light. The lights were positioned to bring out the most beautiful colours this diamond would display and it sparkled proudly for all to gaze upon and adore. How this diamond was presented told a story in itself. It said – “This diamond is worth something. It is different to all the others you will see.” The jeweller went to great lengths to show it off in its best light and to help people appreciate this rare stone’s beauty.

I know that how we present something – chocolate cake, diamonds, our business, ourselves – influences significantly how people perceive it. If I love and respect myself for example, I will be inclined to present myself with more dignity and confidence. If I love and value my business, I will present it with power and purpose. If I love the people I serve I will present their potential opportunities in the most attractive way possible to help them make the best decisions.

I encourage each of us to present our business to others like that beautiful rare diamond – make it stand out from the crowd! Let people see that it is different to anything else. It shines brighter, it is worth more, it is desirable beyond description. And it is ours!