What do you say when asked, “What do you do?”

pointingDo you have a message?

At Exec-Comm, we coach people to recognize opportunities to highlight the value they bring to their workplace or community.  Answering “what do you do?” presents a perfect opportunity.

Too often, people miss this opportunity; they tell us what they do rather than how they improve their world.

Here are some recommendations to create or fine tune your message:

  • Keep your answer short, mostly monosyllabic, and others focused.  It’s a bonus, if you can tie in how others benefit from working with you.

For example, my answer is typically:  “I teach business people how to communicate with more impact.”  If the person who asked seems interested, I follow with, “My colleagues and I do this by helping people focus more on others and less on themselves.”

  • Have supporting evidence in your back pocket for listeners who want more.  You can tell a story, share a fact, and use a statistic or an analogy to bring your message to life.

For example, I often talk about a client we feature in a case study. The industry leading financial services company came to us with good news about the impact of our training.  They assert that our training coupled with a robust sustainability plan caused an uptick in productivity of 40%.

Think of the positive effect you have through your work and consider weaving it into your answer.

Take time to reflect on your message; then, at your next networking or social event, when someone asks, “What do you do?” you’ll have a memorable answer that connects to why what you do matters.

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