Monday, December 12, 2005

So, What Do YOU Do?

Elevator speeches. 60 Second Commercials. 30 Second Commercials. Personal Introductions. Networking Introductions. Defining Statements. Positioning Statements.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Which one do you use? And when? And with whom?

Tough question. Especially because since the early 90’s, tens of thousands of articles, books, manuals and guides have been written on the topic of networking. And all of them address various techniques on how to answer the question: “So, what do you do?”

To put it in perspective, consider these results from a recent Google search:

*30 Second Commercial – 135,000 pages
*Elevator Speech – 128,000 pages
*Positioning Statement – 106,740 pages
*60 Second Commercial – 33,500 pages
*Defining Statement – 26,000
*Personal Introduction – 3,600 pages

Wow. Overwhelming, huh? Makes you wonder which one is right! Still, each of these techniques is some variety of your Networking Introduction. Unfortunately, it won’t come out the way all the books and articles say it will. It’s doubtful you’ll ever tell someone what you do in an elevator; you’ll probably never have exactly 30 or 60 seconds to do so; and the odds of you explaining it the same way each time are highly unlikely.

In REAL networking, you’ll be rushed, caught off guard and asked unexpected questions. You’ll meet people on busses and in bathrooms. You’ll address three strangers at a time, get interrupted mid-commercial, and sometimes, you won’t get a chance to say a single word until the last five seconds of a conversation. And all the while, you won’t have time to decide whether or not you should give your Elevator Speech, 30 Second Commercial or Defining Statement!

Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you there.

But it’s true. Networking is unpredictable. And yet, we depend on it for the growth of our careers. According to a 2004 report from the Federal Bureau of Labor, 70% of our new business comes from some sort of networking. So, rather than put additional pressure on yourself by worrying about how many seconds you have, here are some key points for an effective, concise and memorable Networking Introduction.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

So, what do YOU do?

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com