26 Feb How to get yourself heard
I think it all started with MTV. I used to be able to sit and concentrate on something for a very long time.
But these days I find I have the attention span of a flea.
MTV was the first medium to give us entertainment in small bites. In those days it was three to six minutes a bite. Short then. Unbearably long now. Letters have given way to email which has given way to text. Short bursts of info with incredible immediacy. Facebook is short snippets about the lives of everyone you know. Teeny, tiny and instantaneously digestible. A tweet is down from 140 characters to the retweetable 120. And it’s life span? 20 minutes if we are lucky. Even voice mail is no longer the place to leave long messages. Most of my vmail messages just say “Call me.” My friends and colleagues are wise to do that, because if the message is too long, my tendency is to tune out and stop listening.
Information just moves faster these days. I believe my brain has adapted. And if I no longer have the patience to figure out what the person next to me is trying to tell me, I guarantee that is also the case with the people you are talking to.
Which brings us back to how to get yourself heard. If you can’t tell your story in 30 seconds, you need to rethink it. You need to drill down to the essence of what you need people to know about you, your product or service. And you also need to think about exactly what you want to accomplish in that interaction, so your 30 seconds hits the spot. If you want someone to call for a consultation, then you need to mention that you do them. If you want someone to taste your cookies, then you need to invite them to your bakery. And you would also need to provide a reason for them to want to do it. Anything more can be saved for the second conversation. Which always should be a key goal of the first.
Make it short. Make it targeted. Make it strategic. All of which is better than talking fast.