I attended a fabulous networking event this morning – love, love, loved it! It started with everyone standing and giving their elevator speech, as many networking events do. I was very impressed because, even though a couple people told me they weren’t prepared to give their spiel everyone did pretty well.
I have two thoughts from this experience.
1. You should always be prepared – no matter what, when or size of audience – to give your spiel.
2. Do not use the word “just” within your statement.
As a coach point one is something that I am adamant with when working with my clients. There is no excuse, rhyme or reason for you to not be prepared to network especially when it is a designated networking event.
Honestly if your intent is to build your business, make connections or find the right job then you should have your elevator speech prepared for any situation no matter what. This is such an important point that I will be covering it specifically when I speak to the Indy NAIFA chapter next week on the 19th of January at the Ritz Charles. It deserves it’s own space so I’ll focus the remainder of this article on the second point.
One young lady was giving her speech and she stated, “I just do …” not in a manner of specialization of a certain industry or item aspect, but in the apologetic this-is-all-I-do aspect. No, no no – never demean yourself this way. No one will point fingers and shamed you if you do this; however you will have planted a seed. Unconscious or not that “just” is going to stick.
Let me further illustrate by asking how would you react if someone said to you, “Oh, so you just do x for a living?” Sounds demeaning don’t it?
No one JUST does one thing, I don’t care who you are or what you do. Don’t challenge me on this people, this is what I do for my life’s work! No one is a just. A just can come across as:
I don’t take pride in what I do
I don’t know what I do
I am not interested in connecting with people
I have nothing to offer potential prospects or employers
I do not place value in myself or what I do
I’m not saying that it always does communicate one or all of the above messages, but do you really want to take that chance?
Take a moment to review your elevator pitch and make sure there are no “just”s in there; if you find yourself saying then it is a clear indication that you have some re-evaluation to do. What value do you contribute to others? Make sure that is the message that you are delivering to your audience, not just killing time until the appetizers arrive.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.