Are You Following The 5 C's? A Confident Message
From Career Tips, 2022 Volume 2, February 2022
I started this series in October. As a reminder, here are The 5 C's of an Effective Marketing Message:
I'm going to circle back to Content at the end of the series, and I covered Context last time. So that brings us to Confidence.
Confidence is one of the biggest issues in networking and job search. It's certainly one I end up working on with clients over and over again.
Think about this: If you don’t present what you have with confidence, why should I believe you?
I’m looking for someone I can reliably refer, or advocate for, or hire. I'm the one who should be evaluating you and your message with a skeptical eye. So if you already appear to doubt yourself from the way you present, you've just dug a deep hole from which it is unlikely you will escape.
This doesn't mean that you have to jump up on the table and shout out your message. In fact, that can be almost as ineffective, pushing people away just by your over-the-top presentation. I might now doubt you just because you may be over-compensating.
The sweet spot is when you show quiet confidence.
Part of this relates back to Context as well. When you quietly present results in a very matter-of-fact manner, and allow me to draw my own conclusions, rather than add a lot of superlatives and adjectives to hit me over the head with how good you are, you will get a better reception.
I remember a holiday party by one of the bigger career networking groups in NJ, where everyone had a chance to give their elevator pitch to the room. When it was "Sam's" turn, he hit many of the right notes in his message. But he delivered it haltingly, without smiling, often looking up at the ceiling. I guarantee you that when Sam sat down, no one believed his pitch.
Then there's "Jane", who came to several meetings where I presented on the secrets of an effective marketing pitch, but didn't seem to get it. Every time I saw her stand up to give her own pitch, she would read it from an index card, completely destroying her credibility. It's one thing to test out a new pitch one time, and introduce it that way, but to have to read it every time? Do you not know you're own value proposition?
On the other hand, "Cindy" came to a business networking meeting at my invitation. When we went around the room and everyone gave their 30 second pitch in turn, Cindy gave just a 15 second one that she could deliver confidently. Three people came up to her afterwards to give her leads for her career search.
Right there is one of the keys I often share. If you struggle to present your message with confidence, shorten it. Come up with one line you can deliver naturally, confidently and with a smile on your face. When you get really good at delivering that one line, then add another sentence. Keep practicing, and eventually work your way up to the full 30 second pitch most commonly used.
Once you can do that with confidence, then think about variations you might use, depending on the situation:
I'll continue next time with one of the other C's.
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