Today our attention span is just a matter of seconds!
We live in a world where everything is instant, fast moving and constantly changing! We are easily distracted and eager to move on to the ‘next thing’ whatever that may be.
Therefore we need to think about how we interact with others to ensure we haven’t lost their attention.
Given how the most successful way to find employment and new business is through networking, ‘winging’ your personal introduction is no longer an option. You only have a tiny window of opportunity to capture someone’s attention and transform it into success.
Dealing with that all encompassing question “tell me about yourself?” is therefore tricky!!
You can be asked this question at any point, not just at interview, but when you are least expecting it. It could be during a networking event or a social encounter with someone who is well connected. So, it is vitally important to be prepared on how you are going to answer this question.
Consider what your audience are asking – what do they want to know? They don’t want to hear your life story… “I didn’t get where I am today…..” and they don’t want to hear anything negative either.
They want to know who you are, what you do, what you are good at and how you can be of value and perhaps where you are going – where is your career taking you?
So who are you and what do you do? I may seem like such an easy question, but applying a ‘label’ to describe you and what you do is very important. You need to describe this in a language your audience will understand instantly.
For example, “my name is Karen Munro and I am a freelance Career Coach and Facilitator. I work with clients from both the public and private sectors and also work closely with Military Service Leavers transitioning out of the Armed Forces. I am passionate about helping people reach their career potential”.
Describing what you are good at and how you are of value is fundamentally important to clarify your credibility in the job market.
If you are looking for a new opportunity or a career change, then you need to be clear about it. It is important to articulate everything clearly and with confidence. If you don’t sound sure about what you are saying, your audience will most certainly not take you seriously.
Keep your message short, punchy and clear in order to keep within that short attention span. Don’t be caught out trying to think of something on the spot that will sound impressive. It’s too important a statement to just ‘wing it’.
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!
Get used to how it sounds, get used to adapting and changing it and get used to saying it naturally. No one wants to hear a rehearsed sales pitch, it needs to sound genuine.
Next time you are in the car stuck in traffic or on a long journey, turn off the radio and just practice talking about yourself and what you do and what you are good at. Do this regularly and it will start to feel more natural and genuine.
That way, next time you meet someone who asks you “tell me about yourself” you will be able to naturally reel of your personal introduction.