Although we are all familiar with the above expression, I am not sure if everyone understands the importance of this idea to his or her search and how to get to where you need to be.
The “big show” is of course an interview. When you finally get yourself in front of a hiring manager all aspects of your performance need to be polished. This is not the time to be “practicing” your elevator speech when he/she says “So, tell me about yourself.”
We are fortunate within The FENG to have lots of opportunities to practice our pitch.
Let’s start with our many chapter meetings. What better place is there to work on that 90-second announcement? You have a friendly audience, and you have the opportunity to hear others who have backgrounds similar to yours present their credentials as well. If you don’t pick up at least one good idea from every meeting you attend, then you probably fell asleep.
You just can’t discuss your credentials often enough.
In my old age, I have become quite the storyteller. Some of my stories my wife has heard many times, like how The FENG got started and what it is all about. I am fortunate that I have my own personal “fly on the wall” to offer me a critique now and then, and it has helped me shape what I say and enabled me to shorten it considerably. (Okay, I still rattle on a little too much, but the topic is pretty exciting!)
Working the phones is also a tough thing. But, it is a skill you have to build. So, you have to ask yourself, where can I find a friendly audience to practice on? Guess what? There are about 50 of those folks available each week. I call them our new members!
Print off that list and search for someone, anyone, with whom you can establish some kind of relationship. Do they live near you? Did they work at some firm you also worked at? Friends, any excuse will due. As you roll through your greeting and introduction you will of course have to do a short presentation on your background. There really is no better way to practice. You may even become a better listener as you practice absorbing what they have to say about themselves.
And, who knows? You might even make a new friend or two or three.
How about writing? Well, you can always write letters introducing yourself to other members of The FENG. Who knows? They might even write back. You can practice attaching your resume. You might even want to name the file LastNameFirstName.doc so the recipient will be able to save it to their hard drive where they have their resume saved as resume.doc. (I always hate over writing my own resume, don’t you?)
The resources within The FENG to practice your performance can be invaluable. Please use them!
When you move from off Broadway to the real thing, we want the critics to give you a glowing write up in newspaper. (And, hopefully you will deserve it!)