Question: “I do regular networking but every time someone asks me what I do, I get tongue tied. How can I stop this?” John
Answer: “This is a common problem, particularly for those who provide a service with multiple applications. When you’ve got a gadget it’s considerably easier to say ‘I make widgets for beer cans’, for example.
It’s not that you get nervous about speaking, as you said, but that you just don’t know what to say. You have 6 seconds to grab someone’s attention which makes it even more imperative that you can access the right phrase immediately.
So I have two exercises for you. The first is to describe in exactly 7 words what your company does, without mentioning ‘I’, ‘We’ or the company name. Here’s a couple of examples: ‘Identify overpayments and improve process and profitability’ (Audit Company) Help people over 50 live better now’ (Charity for the Elderly).
Then in 3 words what you do: ‘what, chaff, sort’ and ‘manage frustrating people. (I’ll let you figure out what positions they might have in a company).
These exercises will help you really hone into your company’s and personal USP. You can grab the person’s attention and then build your story on that. ”
Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd. To solve your problem email firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @WayfinderWoman Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.