30 Seconds to Shine

I don’t know about you, but I network ALL the time. When I went full time with my business back in 2008, I attended at least one networking event each day. All of that meeting people required having some great 30-second commercials at the ready.

Unfortunately, not everyone puts as much effort into networking.

When I was at an event the other day, I was the only person in the room with a cohesive commercial, complete with a tagline; I received a round of applause when I sat back down.

Some of the worst presenters of their value are job seekers. So often, they stand up with no idea how to share a 30-second presentation, which means they lose that valuable time! It’s just part of the conversation that I have with job seekers to talk about what they should share at a networking event. I am adamant that a resume by itself will likely NOT land them a job; they need to incorporate networking and social media to be more effective.

When thinking about a 30-second commercial, remember that you really only have 5-7 seconds to gain your audience’s attention. If they hear nothing of value in that time, they tend to tune out. Obviously, that’s not a lot of time, so starting with your name and/or company name may not be the best lead-in. For a writer, an example might be:

  • “Words are powerful. In the wrong hands, they can be ineffective and sometimes even dangerous! But in my hands, they can help you transform make more money.”

Now you have them wondering what you do. This is the time to tell the rest of the story:

  • “I’m Sue Smith with I Write for You, and I create your business communications as your go-to writer.”

A great commercial has a tagline or branding statement. This writer might finish with:

  • “Copy right and you’ll never go wrong.”

A job seeker can use the same formula to create interest. Truly, you don’t want to share everything in a 30-second spot; you want to encourage listeners to come up to you and ask more! And the more specific you can be, the better. Often in a micro-presentation, it’s appropriate to ask for a specific type of referral. I always encourage job seekers to be specific; if they aren’t, no one will know how to help them. One example of a job seeker’s 30-second commercial could be:

  • “I’m Joe Smith and I want to be your next sales director. Recently, at X Company, I transformed an underperforming region into delivering a 22%+ year-to-year return. I’m currently targeting an outside sales position in the beverage industry; Budweiser or Pepsi would be ideal.”

Job seekers sometimes push back about mentioning specific companies, but the truth is that honing in like that can make listeners think about whom they know. Someone might walk up to the job seeker afterward and say, “I don’t know anyone at Budweiser, but my sister is at Snapple. Would that be helpful?” Of course!

When delivering your commercial, be sure to stand. It draws attention and helps people to pay attention and remember you. Before you know it, people will be coming over to learn more!

By Amanda Collins