Having an MBA might get you to the top of the short list, but it won’t get you the job. Your professional appearance will make you feel confident and appear credible, but it is what you say that seals the deal.
If you can not convey your experience and thinking in a clear and logical way, then you will not be able to yield any influence, and your knowledge bank will be of little value.
You need to be able to communicate in 30 seconds what you want to say.
Learning to be concise and correct is a skill that takes practice. It takes practice to establish what you want to say and also how to say it. Your language and communication style needs to form a part of a larger narrative that you want to create about yourself. It also needs to be evolving if it is going to remain genuine.
For some people, all of this comes naturally, but for the majority of professionals, this seems like an exhausting task that is low on the priority list. However, if you want to win more work or accelerate within your existing company, priority should be given to the way you communicate.
Here are my top five tips for effective communication when pitching you:
1. Define your narrative. Give some consideration to how you are perceived now, as well as in five years from now and start pitching ahead.
2. Plan and organise your thoughts. Take some time to analyse what you want to say than organise the information and write it down.
3. Be concise be precise. Decide what you want to say, eliminate all the unnecessary words. For example, ‘very valuable’ – either something is valuable or not, the word very is unnecessary.
4. Eliminate the double negatives. This is aimed at the lawyers who are reading this. They are necessary for giving advice I am sure, but they don’t do you any favours when it comes to selling yourself. Having experience in an area of management sounds better than ‘not being inexperienced’.
5. Practice the delivery. Pay attention to your non-verbal communication. Make eye contact, slow down your speech pattern, be poised.
Following these tips will help you create active and persuasive communication, essential for a confident first impression.
By Amanda Lacey
For more information about creating powerful first impressions, register for the Business Integration Series - first impressions lunch held in Melbourne, September 5, 2017.