Grab Their Interest With a Snappy Sound Byte

by Vincent, Mary Jeanne Friday, April 06, 2007
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When you were working and someone asked you what did you had a ready answer. “I work at Acme Enterprises as a customer service manager.” It might not have been the most exciting introduction but it did provide you with an identity and a ready answer.

Now that you are not working do you find your mouth full of cotton when you are networking? In business, social, and casual situations it is imperative that you provide the right kind of information when asked what you do. Instead of dreading the question because you not working, anticipate it and respond with a 10-15 second audio sound byte that invites conversation.

For example:
  • Richard, a gardener and landscape designer frequently introduces himself as “a horticultural and scenic wellness consultant.”
  • Sandy, a technical trainer introduces herself by saying, “I help you make sense out of geek speak and other technical nonsense.”
  • Marion, an image consultant who works with managers in the corporate world, helps individuals “create a powerful presence.”
All of these introductions create interest and invite further questions. What should you consider as you develop your audio sound byte?

  1. Your skills, knowledge, and accomplishments. Determine what makes you unique, interesting, and better than the other job seekers in your field.
  2. The market. What need is not being met? Craft your sound byte so it addresses this issue.
  3. Your style. Are you funny, stoic, earnest, or lighthearted? To be believed the message must match the messenger - you.
  4. The audience. Are you addressing a hiring manager at a job fair, business colleague at a professional event, casual friend at the grocery, or your spouse’s business associate at a company event? Tailor your message for the audience.
An effective response to “What do you do?” takes thought and practice. Jot down your ideas; try them out on friends at social events. Fine-tune your sound byte until you can deliver it with confidence, a warm smile, and a firm handshake. Master your introduction and you’ll never have to fear the “What do you do?” question again!

Copywrite. Mary Jeanne Vincent