If you are the inventor of the internet, standing on stage before an audience who has paid money to hear you speak, then a lengthy monologue is warranted. In most conversations, however, the listener's attention will be limited to the length of a line of sit-com dialogue or short commercial. When the product you're marketing is yourself, take a tip from television and write a memorable advertisement. At parties, networking events and ball games, one ice breaker is so common that a cave man would recognize it: What do you do?
If you are the inventor of the internet, standing on stage before an audience who has paid money to hear you speak, then a lengthy monologue is warranted. In most conversations, however, the listener's attention will be limited to the length of a line of sit-com dialogue or short commercial. When the product you're marketing is yourself, take a tip from television and write a memorable advertisement. Practice it, know it and use it. Learn to market your talents in thirty seconds or less and others will remember you when they need to call on someone with your products or expertise.
Write a Commercial Starring: You
Creating a memorable marketing moment is not complicated. Simply string together a captivating opening line, evocative explanation and unforgettable close, then follow your commercial with an invitation to hear about someone else. Your comments will ring in their ears just like a favorite jingle.
Popular commercials catch our attention. What can you say in a brief introduction that will stir up some curiosity? "I work for ABC Company," is the expected line. Avoid it. When asked the classic question, "What do you do?" gain your listener's attention with a surprising anecdote, humorous comment or vivid illustration: "I've never worked a day in my life," for example. Or, "Have you seen that fifty-seven-story building downtown? I designed that."
The Main Idea
Make good use of the w's: who, what, why, where and when. No need to reveal your most intimate career secrets, but sum it up with highlights. For example: "I used to lose myself for hours in the backyard garden. Now I sell organic vegetables to corporate cafeterias."
In the last seconds of your ad, offer an unforgettable tag line. Who doesn't remember to "Have a Coke and a Smile?" A talented barista might say, "At 7:00 a.m., everybody loves me." A personal trainer could wrap with, "I'll work your butt off."
Move it Along
Follow your commercial with an invitation to learn about someone else. Return the favor by asking, and listening to, what others are involved in. Remember the golden rule of making connections -- fascinating people are fascinated by others.
The Thirty-Second Advantage
Once you've created your marketing masterpiece, rehearse in front of someone who will listen. Hint: mirrors and pets are excellent spectators. Summing up your talents in a few well-chosen words will be useful during introductions, and can give you a confidence boost during job interviews and cold calls. When your commercial is short, self-assured and snappy, hiring managers and busy consumers who want a quick overview of what you can do will appreciate your style. You just may pique someone's interest and the dialogue can go fast forward from there.