Are You Following The 5 C's? Be Conversational
From Career Tips, 2022 Volume 6, June 2022
I started this series in October. As a reminder, here are The 5 C's of an Effective Marketing Message:
The most effective marketing messages are delivered in a Conversational manner.
What does that mean? Simply this: that it would come across as natural if you were to deliver it in an actual one-on-one conversation.
Now that doesn't mean I would recommend actually delivering a 30 second pitch in answer to "What do you do?" It just means that it should sound natural if you did. (For actually answering "What do you do?", I recommend just a one-liner, delivered in a natural, conversational style - see my article on "Context.")
Being conversational requires much of what I talked about last time – avoiding most jargon and technical language, and using smaller, more natural words instead of ones that sound 'impressive'. It also means delivering it in a natural style, one that makes the listener feel like you are really talking to them.
You want to deliver your message in a natural cadence, not rushing to get everything out. If you rush, some will still be processing what you said in the first sentence and will miss the impact of the second. Plus, you will come across as less confident.
Conversational also means not stumbling over your words. If you stumble, then I may wonder if the message actually represents YOU. Your believability factor drops.
If this is a problem for you, shorten your pitch. Make it as short as you need to for it to come out naturally without glitches. Once you get that shorter pitch down pat, then you can add in a bit more.
Also be sure to smile while you deliver it.
Think about this:
The purpose of your message is to leave people wanting to know more. But if I do want to know more, I need to talk to you.
If you come across with a truly conversational style, I'm already imagining how easy it will be to converse with you, and am much more likely to actually engage with you.
On the other hand, if your style is stilted, formal, pushy, overly sales-y, or off-putting in any way, I'm much less likely to actually take that step of reaching out. Don't leave impression barriers that get in the way of the next step!
Think of it also this way:
Your message is not just about engaging listeners on the spot. It's about creating an impression.
It's about equipping listeners, so that when they later come across a person or situation that might be beneficial, they remember you favorably and might make the connection.
Even if your pitch hit the right notes in terms of message, if it didn't feel natural, that could be a barrier. If you sound like a 'regular person' I would enjoy talking to, then my contacts will likely feel the same say, and I'm much more inclined to make that connection for you.
As I mentioned last time, once you have put together your pitch the way you want it, practice it out loud. In fact, the true test of Conversational is to practice it on friends and family. Ask them how it makes them feel, and whether they understood what you were saying. Ask if it felt rushed. See if after hearing your pitch, they can explain the core of your message in one line.
Be sure to also practice it on those who don't know what you do, or who work in completely different industries and roles, and see how it strikes them.
If you get questions (other than "I'd like to know more," which is your goal), don't get defensive and try to explain what you were trying to accomplish. Ask specifically what part they struggled with or didn't find hit the mark, and then figure out what to adjust.
Remember, your message should not be about you and what you want to say, it should be about the listener and what will engage them!
Sign up for Career Tips and receive more articles like this every month!