The average human loses concentration ability after 8 seconds (which is shorter than a goldfish’s attention span, so that’s awesome), so we’ve got our work cut out for us when it comes to being memorable. Below, five ways to tackle that in 30 seconds or less:
1. Use a “connection story.”
When someone asks what you do, don’t just say, “My name is X, and I’m a [insert job title].” Instead use a connection story, which “gives somebody a true glimpse into who you are,” explains Amanda Marko, a strategic communications consultant, in Entrepreneur. Were you always running lemonade stands as a kid? Link that to how you knew from an early age that you wanted to be an entrepreneur.
2. Ditch the jargon.
This is all about knowing your audience. Unless the person you’re talking to also works in your industry and knows your job inside-and-out, leave out the super-technical or industry-specific terms. It will make what you say clearer and stick in their mind that much better.
3. Add an anecdote.
A Stanford research study reported by Forbes showed that statistics alone have a retention rate of 5 to 10 percent, but when coupled with anecdotes, the retention rate rises to 65 to 70 percent.
4. Share something you have in common.
Think of what you remember after having a conversation with someone. (“We went to the same college!” or “Turns out we live in the same neighborhood!”) That’s because common factors unite us, so it’s memory gold. If you stumble upon something you have in common or know from social media (without getting too creepy) that you both love Scandal, for example, say so.
5. Compliment ’em.
Plain and simple, people will remember how you made them feel. Guarantee the warm and fuzzies by offering a real, genuine compliment. (So if you’re notorious for your bohemian outfits, maybe don’t try complimenting someone on their pearls and cardigan—they probably won’t buy it.) Aim for work-related compliments—great job on that presentation, insightful commentary in that meeting, you get the picture.