What does your story say about you?
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Networking
I was at a networking event last week. It was mostly for entrepreneurs and those looking to fund entrepreneurs. And as I met person after person, I was amazed at what each person’s story said about them.
Three people I met happened to be in a job search. And that was pretty much the second thing out of their mouth. The first thing was their name. Even though I’m in contact with those in a job search on an on-going basis, I’m still amazed that people lead with that story. Quite frankly, it’s a story nobody really wants to talk about. Not even the person in the job search! More importantly, it ends up being a conversation killer because it puts the person on the receiving end of that information in an uncomfortable situation.
Now, that’s not to say that the person on the receiving end is a bad person. It’s just that they’re a perfectly normal person. And they didn’t put away their family obligations, all the work stacked up at their office, or just a night to themselves to hear about someone’s job search. They came to meet interesting people. So be interesting.
A few others I met were fairly new entrepreneurs. They had some great ideas. And they wanted to talk about them. A lot. I mean all night! Now that’s not to say I wasn’t interested in their story, but much of it was completely irrelevant to me. In fact, some of it was a little dry. And while I was watching your mouth move, I’m not sure I heard what was coming out of it!
At what point might it benefit someone to figure out who they’re talking to.
Can you imagine being hired to speak to a group of people and not asking about the group’s mission, its members, or any other key information that might enable you to tailor your speech to them? Yet, that’s what people do at networking events all the time! They forget to tailor the conversation to the person they’re speaking to. It’s the same thing, person after person.
“Hey, here’s all about me. I don’t know squat about you, but let me continue talking before I forget what I rehearsed about me, me, me.”
I’m not saying you can’t talk about yourself (especially when I ask you a million questions… all about yourself). But, I am saying that if you’re going to talk about yourself, please make it interesting. Please make it relevant. And if it’s not going to interesting or relevant, then please, please, please make it quick!