Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Me in 30 Seconds

Ever walk away from an unexpected encounter with somebody you'd like to work for, or somebody you'd like to win as a customer or client, wishing you could go back and have the conversation over again? Wishing you had known what to say, instead of trying to make it up while you were saying it?

That's what a"Me in 30 Seconds" statement does for you. This little jewel is prepared in advance and can be used at a moment's notice when you just happen to bump into somebody important on an elevator, in the restroom, at the water cooler, or standing in line at the book store. It's also a great way to begin a job interview.

It's a very brief introduction to who you are, what you're doing, and where you're going (in a professional sense). The statement is brief because 30 seconds is about all the time a listener will give you before he/she starts thinking about something else.
Your Assignment

Create, practice, and present your Me in 30 Seconds statement to the class. We'll hear these in class on Tuesday, August 30. Here are some suggestions.

1. Watch the sample video below. I'll show you how your statement can sound. We played around with this on the first day of class, so it won't be new to you, but could serve as a reminder.

2. Write out your statement. Three or four short sentences. Sentence one: what have you done to be proud of so far? Sentence two: what are you doing now that is important? Sentence three: how can your experience and abilities benefit your listener?

Important tip: Be sure that there is a clear connection between sentence one and sentence three. That will help your listener see how your past experiences have prepared you to benefit him/her. For example, if you plan to become a nurse, emphasize past experiences that will aid you in excelling as a nurse. Then finish with a clear statement explaining how your background and present pursuits can benefit the listener.

3. Time it. If it goes over 30 seconds in three or four recitations, cut it down. Remember, listeners will only stay with you that long. Anything else you say is wasted breath (unless you've got a story to tell that is truly gripping, gory, or bizarre, which might earn you another five seconds—but don't count on it).

4. Memorize it. Practice, practice, practice until it flows smoothly and conversationally. If it doesn't come out word-perfect, that's okay. It'll be close.

5. Try it out on everybody who cares about you (mom, dad, roomie, pet turtle). If you don't have a friend in the world (like me), record it on your phone and play it back (same with video). Then do it again. And again. And again.

6. Have fun with it. Nobody's going to be executed for stumbling on this assignment. go for it!

Watch the sample video below or on YouTube. It's what I would say if I were looking for work.

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