I love flowers! I also love gardening. There is something about digging in the dirt that decompresses me instantly. I’ve been thinking about which annuals to plant and where to put them. Some flowers are very compact and will stay that way as they grow. There are others that will spread if allowed. Of those flowers that spread some can be coaxed in the direction you would like them to go. Some will even train themselves once put in the right direction and will cling to an object, eventually becoming a beautiful topiary that stands alone.
This Once Timid Networker was at one time a very compact flower. I used to stay very close to what was safe and what I knew. Venturing in a new direction when it involved people was incredibly intimidating. I wasn’t afraid of trying new things necessarily. I had always been very driven and goal oriented. But talking to people I didn’t know was very challenging. Learning how to network however gave me the ability and opportunity to spread myself out a little more and meet new people. Not much at first but I learned the words to say to represent my business, The Workroom as well as myself, in a way that showed confidence and belief in what I was saying.
My friend Iain Whyte of Big Man Talking and author of Life, Business and Speedboats, explains how to get those words together and prepared. He calls them your Hazelnut, Walnut and Coconut speeches.
Hazelnuts- This is the small nugget of information. What you do plus one benefit.
Walnuts- Use this when someone wants you to elaborate on your Hazelnut by asking to tell them more you can promote a certain product or service with a little greater detail. Usually you only want it to be a sentence or two including a benefit.
Coconut- This would be 1-2 minutes about your business, usually used in a more formal type of setting such as a BNI meeting or another roundtable introduction at some other networking event.
Iain says “Use your nuts”! Because when you’ve planned what to say, are comfortable and familiar with the words, you will come across much more confident and professional.
A funny thing happens when you have that appearance, people listen to you. And each time you are successful, you become more confident, as well as practiced. You begin to blossom and train and coax yourself like those flowers hanging on to each triumphant moment. And after a period of time, you can look back and see where you’ve been but also that you have trained yourself into a towering form that stands on its own.
The Workroom at Tara’s