Master Your Messaging

Have you ever been to a networking meeting or similar where you have the chance to talk about what you do, but for some reason your messaging isn’t landing? Frustrating for you because you’re not getting the engagement you’re looking for and your fellow attendees are potentially leaving the meeting not really getting what you do.  

Here’s three reasons why your messaging may not be resonating with your audience with a quick tip on how to turn it around. 

Too many words in the time allotted 

When you attend a networking meeting you’ll usually arrive knowing how long you have allocated to speak and what format that might take. It can be anything from one to five minutes usually.  

A rule of thumb is one minute = approximately 150 words, and whilst I’m not advocating reading a script verbatim, 150 words is quite short (I’m pretty much at 150 words in this article and I’m still on tip number one!).   

My advice is to top and tail a document that includes your name and introduction, a call to action and repeat of your name as a template. Then in the middle section of the document include information about your product or service. Who do you serve? What pain points do you address for your clients?  

Remember, if you try to cram in more words by speaking quickly your audience will miss the details of your message and will struggle to be a good ambassador for you. Further, meetings have a structure and everyone is afforded the same amount of time to speak. Running over intentionally or ignoring a time keeper who is indicating to you that you’ve used up your allotted time is not cool and certainly not showing respect to your host and other attendees. 

You try to be all things to all people  

Lots of people have more than one business but during your presentation it’s best to stick to mentioning one to avoid confusing your audience. And, if you have a product based company rather than try and mention as many products as possible all in one presentation, focus on just one on this occasion so your audience gains a greater understanding of what it is and how it works. Post networking meetings when you have a one to one conversation with an attendee you’ll have a longer opportunity to share more of what you do. 

You assume people know what you do 

“Everyone knows what a (insert profession) does.” “You’ll all have heard of (product/company)”. Says who? Specificity is a tricky word to say but being specific is so much easier. Don’t make assumptions that people know what you do (lots of people will nod politely without really understanding your work) and just because you know lots of people that have heard of your product it doesn’t mean the people in the room have. And if they have, there may be a ton of information they don’t know about the product.  

For more tips and ideas for successful networking, join the Facebook group The Nifty Networker www.facebook.com/groups/theniftynetworker or visit the website www.theniftynetworker.com  

Jennie Eriksen 

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