If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how I dislike the elevator speech and instead promote a brief networking introduction.
The networking introduction is a brief and concise talk during which you convey your Presidential Message—the most important thing you want the listener to know about you.
By the way, brief means the intro is 10 – 20 seconds long.
Concise means your words are packed with meaning.
This approach is necessary during networking events, because the listener is usually not interested in listening to you talk for 30 seconds to a minute. They are usually waiting for you to finish so they can tell you about themselves and what they want. It’s simple human nature. Almost all of us are terrible listeners with short attention spans who put ourselves first.
So, during your job search, less is more. Your approach should resemble that of a movie trailer, what some call “the coming attractions.”
The movie is 2 to 4 hours long. The trailer is approximately 2 minutes.
The movie contains the entire story. The trailer contains snippets of the best stuff.
The movie entertains (or bores). The trailer attracts people to learn more.
Market yourself like a movie trailer markets the movie. Be concise, yet informative; brief, yet entertaining.
This can be difficult for most. People commonly try to tell the listener everything. They feel the other person has to hear their entire work history; fully understand their passion; and know about all their skills.
They feel--That way, they’re sure to refer me to someone, help me land a job, and be more open to helping.
WRONG! Trying to tell your whole story and force understanding upon someone merely bores them.
Stop boring people
Most people find it difficult to be concise; so, I often give people exercises to assist them in the process of conciseness. One exercise I provide is writing a haiku that sums up your career, role, or what you offer.
Haiku is a type of short-form poetry—3 lines--- that originated in Japan and is now popular all around the world.
The first line is 5 syllables.
The second line is 7 syllables.
The third line is 5 syllables.
Haiku are short but when they're done right, they pack a punch. When it comes to haiku, less is definitely more. (Sound familiar?)
Consider these two haiku:
I write résumés,
cover letters, and profiles;
Landing people jobs
I’m in healthcare sales,
I connect with people to
Improve patient care.
Imagine answering “What do you do?” with either of the above haiku. What do you think would happen next?
I think the other person would either ask a question or would start talking about what they do, which is most likely what they’re dying to do anyway.
Either way, you’ve started the conversation and conveyed your essential information. Mission accomplished without boring the other party.
I don’t expect you to use a haiku during an introduction, though you could.
I do expect you to work on being concise and to stop trying to tell your whole story on your resume, at networking events, or during interviews.
Stop boring people.