Can 10 words really tell us who you are?

The Biggest Loser is proof - less is more! NBC Photo

I say yes.  And less is more.

After reading an appropriately short blog post by Laura Petrolino at Flying Pig Communications this week, I was inspired to think through how someone could communicate what they do in 10 words or less.  Sounds impossible at first blush, right?  But I think it’s brilliant.

Some people can say more in 10 words than others can say in 60 seconds. I’m sure most of you are familiar with those typical “elevator speech” introductions people practice to death before networking events.  In my Director role at BNI, we more accurately call them “sales manager moments”, since you are educating your sales force (other BNI members) about how to bring you referrals.  And sometimes those 60 seconds can seem like 60 minutes with all the thoughts some cram into their message trying to cover ALL that they do.

But using just 10 words is so perfect.  It forces you to really think about what benefits you provide, rather than WHAT you do.  It requires you get incredibly clear on the exact words to use, since you only have 10 of them.  Imagine if someone said to you right now - you have one minute to grab only 10 personal  items before your whole house burns down.  Yikes, so what are you going to take?!  You take what is most meaningful and significant to you – and that’s exactly what your message should be.   Only that which is meaningful and significant. 

I believe it doesn’t really matter to others WHAT we do, because their top priority is WHY they should care.  Remember that old adage - WIIFM?  What’s In It For Me!

You might wonder what I replied to the blog post in question – and my response was “I help Smart Cookies share their brilliance via social media.”  And even as I type that, I realize I could be more specific about why that matters to someone.  My intent was to “compliment” them being a Smart Cookie and being brilliant, and pair that with my knowledge of social media to help them.  But I bet I can do better.

My favorite response on the blog came from a good friend, and she replied “I show adults how to run away from home.”  Now that, my friend Betsy Talbot, is a brilliant answer that tells me exactly what I can get from you and makes me want to drop everything and find out more.  And that’s a lot of power for 10 little words.

So readers, please tell us what your 10 word description is – I can’t wait for the conversation to begin!

Please share this with your friendsShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

4 Responses to “Can 10 words really tell us who you are?”

  1. Betsy Talbot May 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    You keep smart cookies from crumbling online. :) Thanks for the shout out, friend.

  2. Karen May 27, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Thanks Betsy – that’s a good one!

  3. Laura Petrolino July 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Hey Karen! Thanks for the shout out and great post. The funny thing is that since I wrote the post I’ve revised mine own 10 words over and over….it is sort of the business way of saying “what do I want to be when I grow up” and the truth is, most of us STILL don’t know :)

    Glad I found your site, some excellent thoughts and inspiration here!

  4. Karen July 4, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Thanks Laura! This post has gotten the highest number of views and interest, so thanks for the inspiration! I also posted it on my Facebook page and got tons of input…I’ve got my eye on you now! :)

Leave a Reply

SPECIAL! 30 Day LinkedIn Challenge - $47 for limited time