What is your message and are you presenting it clearly?
You are always conveying a message, but sometimes you need to pause and ask yourself are you broadcasting the message you want to convey? You might be holding a presentation, explaining what you do at a networking event, pitching for work, applying for a new job or even just having a simple conversation.
Think about what message you are trying to convey in each scenario and consider how you can ensure that you are getting your key messages across. This will be done by the content, how you communicate and your body language.
I personally try to be self-aware. I take note of my bad habits and try and work out how I can improve them and make a conscious effort to do so.
So how can you have a more targeted message at a networking event?
Part of this is all about perfecting your elevator pitch. The rest of it is working our what the message is and how to say it.
Lets use an example. I have recently moved jobs and my role now is different to my previous role. This means that it is important for me to work on strengthening my message about who I am and what I am about.
I start this process by identifying 3 key facts that I want to make sure that the person I am talking to leaves with, This will usually be my name, company and most important of all what I can do to help them. Ideally, as part of your preparation for a networking event you should be identifying the key messages you want to convey and who you want to convey them to. Remember, you can have different messages for different people. Choose wisely.
It’s not just about what you say. It is about your body language too.
Lets use an example, we run a cross-professional networking event quarterly. At one of these events I had to do a 5 minute presentation on “what we do” for people with no knowledge of who we are or wat we do. This was something I had not done before. I am used to people having a basic understanding of who we are and what we do (which is why they attend our events). This was definitely not something I had done before and it was definitely not practiced. As I stood up there I crossed my legs and wrapped my legs round. twice. Now I do this all the time. It is my go-to comfortable position, but I have tried to eradicate this as to an ‘outsider’ all it does is make me look uncomfortable, nervous and undermines my credibility.
For me this is a work in progress.