Since the premature and probably unhealthy age of 9, I’ve been a Stephen King fan. This past weekend, I watched the new incarnation of ‘It,’ and the movie did not disappoint. 

Better made and drawing on a higher budget than the previous production - which wasn’t bad to begin with - this new version takes the terror to greater heights, while nevertheless staying fairly true to the book. 

The opening scene was quite possibly the best part. And its treatment had to be excellent, because that creepy little tableau - of the clown in the sewer and the small boy with the yellow raincoat - has become iconic. In its own way, it’s akin to the shower scene in ‘Psycho.’ 

This week’s suggestion will not apply to every aspiring expert. It’s better suited to those who produce or perform something, be it written, spoken, acted or designed. What is your iconic and recognisable moment? What is the thing you’ve done that is notably outstanding? 

I believe that beyond excellence lies customisation. To become convincingly ‘good’ at what you do is really just the starting point for the expert. Writing your ‘clown in the sewer’ moment is the real prize. That’s what makes you Stephen King. 

So let’s phrase the question this way: Beyond your competence, beyond your proficiency, beyond even your excellence, what is the one thing you’ve done or created that is so different, so unique, so evocative, that you are known for it? Do you have a defining, iconic element of production? 

If not, start thinking about it. Make a commitment to mull over the thing you could do that would be so memorable as to make your career. Get it just right, and you could become the greatest in your game. 


Douglas Kruger, CSP, is a global speaker and author of five business books with Penguin. He has won the national championships for Public Speaking, through Toastmasters International, a record 5 times.

In 2016, in honour of excellence in his craft, Douglas was inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame by the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa. In 2018, the National Speakers Association granted him the accreditation of Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by only 12 per cent of speakers globally.

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