For those of you who are movie fans, there was a memorable scene in a totally forgettable movie called “The Mexican” with Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. Julia is throwing Brad’s clothes down on him from a balcony while having an argument with him and screaming: “It’s always about you!”
Well, one time when it should always be about you is when you are doing your 90 second announcement.
You would think with all the focus us financial types have that it would be easy to talk about ourselves, but you would be wrong. For those new to the 90 second announcement, it all too easy to fall into the trap of discussing why you left your last job, frequently adding that we shouldn’t worry about you because your severance isn’t going to run out for another 6 months, and they are continuing your medical benefits. Friends, these are not things one should discuss in public.
To extend the story even further, there is a tendency to discuss the business and political conditions within the company that caused you or your division to be sold or closed down. Again, proper fodder over a beer perhaps, but not appropriate for that limited amount of time allotted for a 90 second announcement.
So, what should you talk about? Well, how about talking about yourself? What is it YOU do? How is it YOU do it? This is actually what we came to hear. What industries are you from? This will give us a frame of reference. Are you a banker, automotive industry or publishing type? By staking out your territory (like the prospect of hanging in the morning), you tend to focus our minds by painting a broad picture at the beginning and gradually filling in the important details.
Again, this time is ALWAYS about you. Don’t allow yourself to slip into too many discussions about your company or your industry UNLESS they neatly segue into a story about what a wonderful person YOU are AND how talented.
We stand in awe of many industries. If you are from one of them, please feel free to wax eloquent. What is it, in simple terms, that makes you so skilled at what you do? Are there DRAMATIC and easily remembered stories you can tell about what you have done?
Take me down any road you like, just don’t put me to sleep. I want to believe that YOU are an exciting and interesting person and I can’t wait to find out why. (Aren’t all of us financial types?)