In 2016, when Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook visited Lagos – Nigeria, a Facebook user, Gauis Chibueze had an opportunity to meet with him. Gauis, whose goal was to meet all his Facebook friends in person, wanted to pitch an idea (Facebook Connector App) to Mark Zuckerberg, and after going through the protocols, Mark gave the young man 3 minutes to sell his idea. What could you possibly say in three minutes if you were Gauis? Well, a lot and not so much, depending on how prepared you are.
Often times, we have great ideas put together in well-packaged proposals and written speeches, but when it comes to delivering them, our hearts and lips tend to fail us. The truth is, even for the most eloquent person, unplanned scenarios could be distabilizing. However, you can start up important relationships, sell that idea and impress people in one brief interaction. The number one rule is to always be ready to present yourself, brand and idea from the top of your head and at any time.
Every interaction is an opportunity to move your career forward as well as build healthy relationships so make the best out of it. Generally, people are interested in things they can relate to; interests, style, career, sports, etc. Therefore, the best way to get their attention is to start up a conversation in their areas of interest.
Imagine finding yourself in the elevator with your boss. How can you make a strong impression in a short time frame? You can start by breaking that awkward silence by discussing trivial things first. Things like the weather, kids, traffic, getting stuck in the elevator, etc. When you notice that the discussion is going on well, you can then introduce more substantial things that will ultimately leave a stronger impression.
For a colleague or boss, there are chances that you will bump into them again, so have something new to say at every next meeting. You can comment on a successful project, congratulate a colleague on achieving a new feat or some feel-good comments as start offs before hitting the nail on the head – saying what you really want to say.
Avoid religious, political and ethnic conversations as they may trigger some sort of arguments. The idea is to impress and be liked in 3 minutes not to provoke.
For someone who you may never be in close proximity with again or for a while, you can speed up the small talks; dive straight into the main discussion, make a mark and most importantly, get the person’s card/contact before letting them go. You never know what that 3 minutes conversation can yield in the future.