Home - How to communicate effectively and build networks

How to communicate effectively and build networks

Communication plays a key role in everyday interactions. Imagine you find yourself in a situation where you meet an executive of a company you want to learn more about, a job recruiter, or someone who has a career in the field you are wishing to pursue.

In all these scenarios, building an effective connection and networking with these individuals could greatly impact your life, open a door to new opportunities, and even get you a step closer to your professional goals.

Creating a personal pitch is the first step to build an effective connection. A personal pitch is a short speech that sums up who you are, what you do, what are your strengths and skills, and why you would be a perfect candidate. Your pitch should radiate your personal brand, have a distinctive style, and be unique.

How to develop a personal pitch?

  • What is the scenario? + What is your ask? Before talking to the person right away, take a moment to think about who you are talking to, and what information you are hoping to gain.
  • Explain what you do. This helps you introduce yourself and allow others to get to know you better. This information includes: what school you go to, the extracurricular activities you are involved with and any hobbies. Don’t forget to ask your conversation partners about themselves, as that shows you are engaged in the conversation and it will give you clues as to how they might be able to help you.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your Unique Selling Proposition incorporates your skills, the things that make unique, and relates to your personal brand. Think what words your friends and teachers would use to describe you. Make sure to relate this to the scenario you’re in; for example, if you’re looking for a social media internship at a company, stating that you play the ukulele wouldn’t really relate to it unless you elaborate on how that experience will help you with the job. Remember to keep your pitches concise and straight to the point so it can help you gain more information on how to take the next step to what you want.
  • Motivation: Think about why you are reaching out to that individual and what you want to obtain. Keeping your goals in mind will help you stay on topic and help you gain what you want in the end of the conversation.

 Now that you have your personal pitch, how can you communicate it effectively? Be consistent in the way you write, look and feel, interact, and speak. You don’t want to confuse the person you are talking to, so the easiest way to be consistent is to be yourself and have fun!

Gail Gramham, a member of Girls E-Mentorship (GEM), mentioned that “remembering names are great for networking.” Remembering someone’s name shows that you have interest in the person, have respect for them, and it can also make a difference on how someone feels about you and your brand.

When you are speaking, remember to embrace simplicity. Reinforcing common themes and showing that you are passionate about things you are saying will eliminate the need for technical jargon.

Finally, be mindful of the impact you make on the person rather than what you say, as people will remember how you made them feel. Starting the conversation with a handshake, a smile and introduction, and ending it by thanking them for their time would help you build a good connection.