I am always asked what exactly I do for work. For many people if I answer with the words “media trainer” and “message development specialist” I get a polite smile and we move on. Say “PR consultant”….same result. I don’t have job title per say…I have a mission and a message. Most of the time I have about 20 seconds to tell you what I do and why. That is about the same amount of time you have when you are talking to a client, or a reporter, or any audience that you want to listen. Attention spans are short and time is precious.
So what do I do?
I work with people to allow them to be able to speak about their company, their product, or themselves in their best, most authentic, self confident manner so they can be influential and keep people engaged in their message. No matter who is listening. I look at the subtle nuances or “micro moments” of a message and teach clients how to get out of their own way to be a great communicator.
That is the 20 second answer I have. It is the cocktail party response, the elevator speech, the first impression you never get back moment.
Why do I do it?
When a client of mine “gets it” there is no better feeling. When I hear them speak and it is their words coming out, their light that is shining, their message that is coming through…I have done my job. I especially love when someone is skeptical about the process. Then they learn. Then they deliver. Then they get positive feedback and I can see exactly the moment when they KNOW they have nailed it. It is very cool to see.
I have found that just everyone has something interesting to say. Problem is many have no idea how to get to the point, make their “stuff” interesting and keep people wanting more. It is what I refer to as “what do you have to say and why should I care” factor. If you don’t engage me from the get go…the rest of what you have to say falls flat and goes in one ear and out the other. Same goes for your customers, you share holders, your sales team…and the list goes on. Really smart people who have a lot to say…sometimes don’t know how to say it. And that is ok because they can learn!
How do I do it?
Good question. It depends on the person and what they want to accomplish. There are lots of corporate training models and templates out there. Some have really good and useful methods that are very important and build the foundation to a great message. I totally use some of it! But they are boring and predictable and for me there is never a one size fits all. I like to take it beyond the expected by challenging you and getting you out of your comfort zone and zero in on the little things that mean a ton. My methods can be weird, unexpected, and are meant to push you. I will never take the easy way out and tell you what you want to hear. And when we have accomplished what I call the point of “AS IS”…we have hit our goal.
A = Authentic
S = Simple
I = Influential
S = Self Confident
It is a great little way to check yourself when you are speaking. Do you hit each of these points? What is missing? What can be tweaked and polished? How can you make it better?
The next time you are speaking to a reporter, or delivering a speech or pitching a client., see if you are
“AS IS”….and even more challenging…do it in 20 seconds.
By Kristen Daly