Ever heard of a nonversation? If you’re having them, it may be what’s killing your personal branding and job search efforts.
Take a pledge to never have a nonversation again because they do not make you memorable, and they will not get you a job. Have conversations that are meaningful. Tell people interesting things and ask them questions that you want to hear the answers to.
Typical nonversation people have been having with you:
It’s nice to meet you. Yes, it has been a particularly cold winter. So, what do you do? Oh, you are a student? That’s nice. What do you study? Oh, journalism. That’s nice. Well…it was nice to meet you. Stay warm out there.
Make the transition from nonversations to conversations by connecting the situation that you are in to something personal and interesting about yourself. Share a tidbit about yourself that the other person wouldn’t know by doing a once-over of your resume.
Did you just say that tonight’s speaker reminded you of a lesson you learned while you were working on your senior thesis in Nicaragua? Wow, how interesting! What part of the speech reminded you of your senior thesis? What was the lesson you learned? What was your senior thesis about? How did you like Nicaragua? And so on and so forth…
If there is no context within which you are meeting the other person, then try starting with a question to find out if you have similar interests:
Do you mind if I ask you a question? Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about [fill in the blank], and I’ve been asking people their perspective on it.
There are tons of great conversations to be had out there. What are some of the conversations you want to have with people? What do you wish people asked you when you met them? What are some of the most memorable conversations you’ve had with people you just met?
Morgan is the social media strategist at Media Two, an interactive advertising agency in downtown Raleigh. In her role at Media Two, Morgan Siem helps businesses, both B2B and B2C to leverage social media channels to meet their business goals. Morgan has worked with clients such as Microsoft Office for Mac Business Unit, Entertainment Publications, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Kindermusik International and Special Olympics of North Carolina. Morgan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2009 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Spanish. Follow her on Twitter.