By Sean D'Souza
Have you ever pondered about this question when standing up at your
What causes your fellow networkers to listen to what you have to
say? Do they sit up with rapt attention or do they simply keep
eating their breakfast and sipping their rapidly cooling coffees?
The difference between them paying attention and continuing to be
lost in their own dreamland totally depends on you. And how you
understand the brain.
And the brain works best in two direct situations.
Situation 1: Change.
Situation 2: Problem.
On a normal day, you'd stand up and give your one-minute speech.
But what if you decided to squat on the floor instead? What if you
decided to tape your mouth instead? What if you decided to use a
bunch of cue cards like the famous Bob Dylan video? Instantly
you've got the audience's attention. It doesn't matter what they
were doing when you stood up, the 'change' in the routine got their
So yeah, think about it for a second. How do you create change?
Now you've got their attention, it's time to keep their attention.
Anyone can get attention by doing something different. But you sure
as heck can't keep their attention for too long if all you've got
is a gimmick.
What does keep the attention going is reverting to the "problem'.
If all you do is simply tell them about how your company does this
and that, then the audience quickly reverts back to their coffee
and breakfast. And because you're so keen on whatever it is you're
saying, you don't notice that they've zoned off.
But if you bring up a problem, you've created continuous attention.
E.g. If you fix computers. And you talk about how a virus attacks
the system; you'll get and keep their attention.
e.g. If you sell houses, and you talk about how to spot a crappy
house from a mile off, you'll get and keep their attention.
e.g. If you sell time management, and you talk about the biggest
reason why time management fails...then ditto.
The point is not to be lazy.
Laziness is when you simply stand up, and rattle off what you do,
and what you do, and what you do. And blah, blah, blah. That's just
boring. That 'what you do' commentary that you're so used to giving
is just putting your audience to sleep. Instead see if you can
bring in the two factors, namely 'change' and 'problems'. And then
watch, as your audience's eyes grow wide.
Now you've got their attention.
And you're keeping their attention.
And that's what your networking 'one-minuter' should be all about.
Waking up an audience is easy. Try it. It works.
First put in a factor of change; then a factor of the problem. And
then end with your company name and the referral you'd like to
receive. And watch the difference in the response.
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