You have 30 seconds . . . WOW ME! by Roz Usheroff
Rarely will someone you are meeting for the first time come right out and say “tell me why I should listen to you.” It would be rude.
However, that is what most people are thinking . . . at least subconsciously. In other words, we are all to varying degrees bombarded with ideas and images through multiple connection points throughout the day. As a result, the brain kind of goes on autopilot “tune out” if it thinks that it as either heard the story before or decides that there will be little if any interest beyond the perfunctory social etiquette associated with the first hello.
Ironically, many believe that your success at making a lasting impression takes place within the confines of a 30 second window. While the power of your personality is certainly presented within this short time frame, the substance as to who you are and how you come across is established long before the initial meeting. Or to put it another way, how people see you is determined long before they have actually met you.
In essence you cultivate a meaningful first impression through building a solid reputation. This means that you can’t WOW someone if you haven’t established your influence within your immediate circle of contacts.
Take a moment to look around and do an assessment of the people with whom you associate. Are they successful. Do they express gratitude for what they already have, while seeking to maximize the opportunities afforded them through their own unique abilities? If you are already in good company, you have obviously made an impression, and through it established an ability or the potential ability to influence. And influence is the foundation upon which your ultimate ability to WOW someone is built.
Think about it for just a moment. How have you in your present setting, made a contribution that has helped someone else better their career or life? How have you made a difference. This is the WOW factor. This is your 30 second story that will enable you to WOW someone within the first moments of your initial meeting.
It isn’t your title, or whatever accomplishments you can list, it is simply how have you been able to help others get to where they want to go. This is your shadow of influence. It extends before you into the nooks and crannies of the everyday world creating the potential to touch the lives of those you have not yet encountered.
In this context, the 30 seconds that you have to make that first impression or deliver a powerful elevator pitch, has already been established based on your values and how others perceive that you have had an impact on their lives.
When you think of it in these terms, here are a few examples of what you should say when someone meets you for the first time and asks; “what do you do”?
Leadership, image and branding specialist – “Hello, I’m Roz Usheroff, and I have the privilege to work with top talent globally to help executives expand their personal power and leadership.”
Investment and insurance advisor – “Hello, I’m Brian Ashe. I get to help families live out their dreams by advising them on sound financial investments. Not only do they get to see their portfolios grow to their expectations, they feel greater peace of mind about what their future will look like.”
Marketing director – “Hello, I’m Stu Cheung. I develop innovative/integrated marketing campaigns to support my organization’s corporate brand. This helps improve patient care, which really motivates me to do what I do.”
Once again, and as you will note, there are no references to titles or positions. The focus is instead on how your expertise benefits others.
In Brian’s case, he helps clients feel an increased level of comfort through proper financial planing, while Stu focuses his energies on the care that patients receive. It’s as simple as that.