Standing Out With Hello

Travelling around catching a touch of talk radio, I came across the current voice of the UK’s speaking clock.

The mellifluous tones of Sara Mendes da Costa are well known, as she revealed each year there are over 60m calls to hear the correct time.

Late 2006 she was selected from a seemingly overwhelming number of applicants; 18,405. Each one phoned in their rendition of the famous phrase, “at the third stroke, the time will be…”.

So how did she stand out from such an enormous crowd?

She was the only person that started her recital with “hello”.

It apparently startled the judges, as it was so unusual to hear something different in the midst of the same phrase over and over, and a place on the shortlist was assured.

Something so small. So everyday. Yet intriguingly isn’t it also a little outside the rules?

What do you do to stand out from such an enormous crowd when trying to get on a longlist, let alone a shortlist?

What tiny piece of added extra can you put in that will similarly set you apart?

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