Over the past 15 years I have had more than a few opportunities to work with groups of members on their 90-second announcements. In fact, this is typically one of the drills in which we engage at all Westport chapter meetings.
Although most résumés I see could also use more than a little work, I find that there is already a significant amount of help available there. Within The FENG for example we have a résumé review committee headed up by Jim Saylor (ResumeReview@TheFENG.org).
Speech is the slowest form of communication and creating a 90-second announcement that projects the real you is a formidable task, and one not to be underestimated in its inherent difficulty.
Having been in the advertising business for almost a decade, I can tell you that the folks that write commercials are very well paid and the reason is the difficulty of communicating the value of the products they hawk in the limited time available. The successful creative types who can achieve the desired result are worth every penny they are paid.
As I have thought about why it is so difficult to create a killer 90-second announcement I am beginning to think that perhaps we all experience what we should consider “a simple case of identity theft.”
When I was in the army back in 1969, it was very common for guys to introduce themselves (their 90-second announcements) by explaining who they “used to be” back on the block. (They really weren’t the crew cut guy dressed in OD green that you were looking at.)
In much the same way we all tend to struggle with explaining who we are because so much of who we are is where we have been and what we were most recently doing.
Prior to this new condition in our lives called “in transition” we were able to explain in simple terms that were Chief Financial Officer of XYZ Corporation, for example. So much of our life was spent at this place of employment and so much of our energy was devoted to it, that it would be hard not to feel this way.
With that existence gone from our lives, suddenly it is not so easy to explain.
The truth is, of course, that there is always a lot more to us than our corporate identity. We are perhaps also spouses, parents, members of a religious organization, and any number of other things IN ADDITION to being hard working folks.
To come up with a winning 90-second announcement you need to transcend the shorthand label or labels that you used to use to describe who you were and come up with new ones that focus on the value you have brought and can continue to bring to the corporate party.
And, what a party it will be when you arrive!