When it comes to creating your message, I’m all for scribbling-out your thoughts. It’s the only way to really see what you’re thinking. Letting questions rattle around in your head and then emptying every possible response onto paper is both informative and enlightening, often leading people to a “Wow, is that what we do?” moment.
Properly facilitated, such brain-dumps provide the building blocks of a message that engages listeners not by spewing information about products, but by sharing insights about purpose. The problems start when we move from scribbling-out our thoughts to scripting-up our words. We memorize and practice our elevator pitch, and when given the chance, we recite. We zip through a commercial full of seemingly important information like our title, what we sell, and where we’re located (at the corner of “Who Cares St.” and “Why Would I Give A Darn Dr.), hand over our business card, and hope for a break in the awkward silence that follows.
Talking from a script is not the same as speaking from your heart. Even if your eyes don’t roll up into your head as you slip into a sales-trance (I’ve seen it!), people know when you’re not being genuine. I’m not suggesting you don’t plan what you want to tell people. Far from it! But don’t memorize a canned commercial. Prepare for a real conversation. It’s the only way you’ll create a real connection.