Monday, April 05, 2010

So... tell me about yourself

by Laurinda Shaver

Don't you love that question at an interview, networking events or even parties?

"So.. tell me about yourself?"

What is your answer? Do you have an answer?

Many people call it the elevator speech. That 30 - 60 statement that is suppose to perfectly position you in someone's mind. Its vitally important to get it right, but yet so many people get it wrong. Here are some tips to think about:

1. Its actually not about you.
Well sorta. Its about how YOU can help the other person. Do you give the other person a clear idea of WHAT you can do to help them?

2. Listen.
You can learn a lot be simply letting the other person talk. How do you know if you can help them if you don't know what they need?

2. Don't give me 3 million details.
People generally don't remember details given verbally. (unless it is a really AWESOME detail) The point is to leave an idea or impression on a person's mind. When they walk away from you, how do they position you?
  • "That's the guy who can help me with my website."
  • "That's the girl who builds communities online."
  • "That's the guy who actually knows what SEO means and how it can increase my sales."

3. Paint a picture.
There is nothing like storytelling. If you describe a scenario, give an example, talk to a situation people follow along quite well.

4. Smile.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Meeting new people is just like a date. I check you out, you check me out and lets see if there is something in common. No person is above the other.

5. Be nice.
Obvious? Maybe. But think about the times when you have met someone and they were checking out the rest of the room instead of listening to you. Or they didn't have basic manners to say "goodbye, it was nice to meet you." Be courteous.

Do you have anything to add? Got a story about a good and/or bad initial meeting? Please share!

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