Steps to Networking – Step 45: Delivering your message

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 12th, 2010

STEP 45: Delivering your message

Maintain eye contact and smile softly when you give your sound bite. Don’t force it with some big, artificial grin. Smile warmly and convey confidence, assurance, conviction and sincerity. Show listeners that you’re proud to deliver your message and that you believe in yourself and the benefits you can provide.

Project that you’re an expert by speaking with

• Authority
• Excitement and
• Passion.

Excitement and passion are contagious. Listeners will sense your conviction, feed off it and want to share their belief in you with others. Football immortal Vince Lombardi reportedly said, “If you’re not fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm!”

Repeat your sound bite at every opportunity. Practice, practice, practice! Always carry a stack of business cards to distribute when making your pitch. If you have brochures or other business materials, distribute them liberally.

Networking coach Sarah Michel has four rules for sound bites:

• Make them catchy but relatable, eliminate industry buzz words and abbreviations that don’t translate well to others. If someone who has heard your drill just once can repeat it, watch out – – – you’ve just created your number one marketing tool and it’s free!

• Establish your expertise up front. Be clear about what you’re known for and what differentiates you from others who do what you do.

• Watch your body language. 93% of what people pay attention to is not what you say, but how you say it. During your delivery, are you smiling, do you make eye contact? Is your voice, pitch and rate of speech pleasant?

• Remember the 3-Foot rule. Anyone within three feet of you is a potential network contact. You never know where or when you’ll get the opportunity to deliver your powerful introduction. It could be the opportunity of a lifetime!

Work your way around rooms, introduce yourself to new faces and continually give your sound bite. Repetition reinforces name recognition, brand identity and it builds confidence.

• Customize your sound bite for different audiences. For example, if you’re at an auto dealers’ meeting, sprinkle in terms relating to that industry like “on all cylinders,” “out of gas” or “cruise control.” Using your listeners’ language breaks down barriers, lightens the mood and makes them feel that you’re speaking directly to them. In doing so, you become one of them, at least for the time you’re together.

• Prepare a back up sound bite. Be ready to ditch your standard message if it’s inappropriate, if someone else in the group has a strikingly similar pitch or if your sound bite doesn’t seem to be going over.

• Write “ad libs” that you can throw in to sound spontaneous. Remember, your main objective is to get your message across so if adjusting your sound bite improves your chances, be sure to go for it.

• Trust your instincts. You’ll quickly learn how and when to alter your message and become adept at making changes based upon your instincts and observations. Work in references to hot news items, scandals or events that will make your sound bite more relevant, up to date.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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