A one-man play is not usually the kind of thing that breaks out at a networking function. But on Wednesday, September 14, actor Rich Swingle will put on a one-man performance of “The Human Connection,” a play with the not-so-subtle purpose of getting networkers to come out of their shells and become better presenters.
The play is part of the Princeton Chamber’s Women in Business Alliance Networking event taking place at Miele Inc., 9 Independence Way, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Cost: $30. Call 609-924-1776 or visit www.princetonchamber.org.
“The Human Connection” was developed by Graceworks, a New York-based consulting firm specializing in teaching professionals how to make better connections with staffs, co-workers, and other professionals at networking events. The firm has a team of presenters who go to various functions and companies, often to act out the one-person play that Swingle will perform for the Women In Business Alliance.
On its website, www.graceworksinc.com, Graceworks recommends keeping certain things in mind as you build your brand and expand your communications — and at the forefront is people.
Be transparent. “People connect with people when walls are stripped away,” the website states. “This fosters a meeting of minds and hearts that is so rare in business today.”
Make your people shine. The only thing that differentiates your company from your competition, according to Graceworks, is your people. “Set them up for success. Remind them that they can trust being themselves, that they are more than enough.”
Be aware of the human condition. People are self-absorbed. It is easier to think about ourselves than others. But when making presentations, Graceworks says, this tendency can come back to bite you. Sure you can speak eloquently about yourself, but if your audience doesn’t get it, did it work?
The answer, according to Graceworks, is to put your focus on the recipient of your message. “Communication is about the receiver, whether you’re writing a proposal, designing a website, or developing a PR campaign.”
Help your audience. Marketers must make it easy for the audience to get the complete message. But helping, according to Graceworks, is not selling. Selling is: “This is who we are. Here’s our stuff. Here’s what we do.” Helping is: “What is your goal, what do you need? We’d love to help you. Here’s an idea.”
Who cares? Being “you” focused rather than “me” focused takes work, but it also takes honesty, according to Graceworks. Ask yourself some real questions before you take on the task of helping clients or audience members, such as: Do you honestly believe that your firm can provide services that will help people and organizations? Do you honestly care more about your clients than you do yourself or your firm? Are you willing to lose the job if it’s better for the client to hire another firm?
This counterintuitive attitude, Graceworks says, serves the client and frees your marketing team to be at its best. “This task of helping your audience is a powerful tool you can and should use as you address every marketing initiative,” the site states.
Play games with your brain. Creativity lives in your right brain. “And your interpersonal skills live in its lower right portion,” Graceworks states. Tapping into these two areas, like anything, takes exercise.
“Playing improv games with rules like, ‘don’t plan ahead’ and ‘no language’ will isolate and exercise that right side of your brain,” the site states. “You’ll be laughing, relaxing, and thinking more freely in no time.”
And don’t forget real exercise. Staying healthy and limber will help keep you relaxed and energized and ready for the job ahead.
Be selective on what you present. Don’t present all the options equally, Graceworks recommends. Dumping data on an audience is not communication. Know the purpose of what you want to say and know the difference between saying it and inundating your listener.