Posted on : 13 Sep 2017 0 CommentsAll News
As part of our most recent Parity Plus event – our annual Career Strategy Day, I ran a seminar on how to network purposefully. Together with 17 product, marketing and communications professionals, we discussed the challenges and anxieties which can arise when networking, along with the preparation you can undertake to ensure you get the most value out of your network.
To network effectively, I believe you must be able to set the scene and articulate concisely to the person you’re networking with your strengths, areas of expertise and your passion – all in less than 2 minutes! Not having a clear message can make it difficult for the recipient to understand what you want from them or how they can assist you. In my networking seminar for the Career Strategy Day, I called this the “elevator pitch”.
Taking in the feedback from around the room, I started to re-think the elevator pitch, its positioning and what it really meant. Is the elevator pitch authentic? Is scripting dead? Much like how I spoke around reframing the definition of networking, perhaps the elevator pitch just required a new definition and some reframing.
If this is the case, what do we replace it with? A product professional in the room suggested a great idea that networkers should prepare a self-product box or positioning box. The inside of the box will hold your values and beliefs, the outside will have various messages on each side to cater for different audiences. I loved this way of thinking around positioning yourself (thanks JB) and I found it is the perfect way to prepare several different short messages which you can access easily in different networking situations. Networking is multi-dimensional, as are human beings, so it made complete sense to have an elevator pitch, or positioning box with multiple sides, appropriate for different audiences and situations.
Given that I find myself networking on a day to day basis and as part of my role, I decided to utilise this method and bring my example to life.
Inside the box were 3 of my top core values:
2. Personal development
3. Developing others
Side 1 -The industry and my career:
· Business owner
· Women in business
Side 2 – Current role:
Side 3 – Personal side with personal beliefs:
· Wife and mother
· Compressed hours and p/t workers
Side 4 – Beliefs and goals:
· Mind wellness
· Work/life balance
· Professional development
Although creating my own positioning box was harder than I thought, now that I could visualise it and had it in front of me, I felt it was such an interesting and important exercise.
I urge you all to take the time to complete your own positioning box in preparation for your next networking event or meet up and see if it makes a difference to the outcome! Keep in mind that both networking and your positioning box are multi-dimensional and can be used in different ways, in different situations and for different audiences. Understanding your environment, the situation and your recipient will ensure you get the most out of the meeting, whether it be a networking event, an interview or a general coffee catch up with a peer.
If you would like more information or a confidential discussion, please contact Victoria Butt on +61 402 418 326 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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