Networking Ideas for Selling Yourself: How to get jobs and clients in one minute

How to get jobs and clients in less than one minute.

Stop missing networking opportunities. You can instantly create opportunity – within 30 seconds.
Judy Carter Story/Speaking Workshop

This last week I did a leadership training program on how to use humor and stories to influence others. One of the most powerful parts of the workshop was an approach to a question we get asked routinely by strangers,

“What do you do for a living?”

Most people respond easily with something like, “I’m a teacher…I’m a realtor…I’m a therapist.” By answering this way, you are cutting down on the chance to attract new clients, get paying speaking gigs, and certainly will not inspire conversation or create a connection. Describing your occupation can be boring. Rather than reducing your profession down to your job title, explain the RESULTS YOUR JOB CREATES.

Next time someone asks you what you do for a living, try this:

1.     Dodge the question and ask them about what they do and inquire about their CHALLENGES. Remember what they say as you are going to be repeating it.

2.     Use this script:

“So, what do I do? Well, you know how…" INSERT WHO YOUR OCCUPATION HELPS, i.e. people looking for homes to buy, sick people, people in the workplace…

"They have this problem, they…  "INSERT PROBLEMS YOU FIX IN YOUR OCCUPATION. TRY MIRRORING SOME OF CHALLENGES YOUR PROSPECT HAS. For instance, burnout, employ engagement, finding the right help

"I’m a… INSERT YOUR PROFESSION. “Teacher, Speaker, accountant…” 

"And I…” (teach, show, help) REPEAT OF PEOPLE YOU HELP 

“How they can…”  DESCRIBE THE RESULTS YOU CREATE. For instance, stress reduction, hitting project deadlines... 

When a woman sitting next to me on a plane told me how overworked her department was, I used this formula and that resulted in my getting over $160,000 of speaking engagements. Now, you’re listening!

I asked her what she did (in HR at a naval base) and what challenges she faced. She told me they’d had some downsizing and everyone left was expected to pick up the work load. She also expressed that there was more conflict among co-workers now because of people having added stress.

OK – I got the info I needed to redesign my pitch.

So, I said, “You know how people in the workplace are overwhelmed by what they have to do? They’re not able to spend as much time with their family and their stress causes turnover and possibly taking additional sick leave."

At this point, she said, forgetting that this was what she told me and said, “Yes! That’s exactly what’s happening in our place!”

Knowing we’d connected, I continued by telling her, “I’m stress reduction speaker.” Now, if she were in healthcare, I would say, “I’m a healthcare speaker.” Depending on the need, I adjust how I describe what I do.

"As a former standup comic, I teach comedy skills to help people in the work place laugh their way out of stress and turn the work environment to a place where stress levels decrease and laughter increases, with people saying, “Thank God it’s Monday!”

Her next comment was, “OMG! We could sure use that! Can I have a card?”

Not only did this conversation lead to a speaking engagement at a naval base, but she referred me to speaking for the army, navy, air force, and 10 navy seal events. One plane flight got me two years of bookings.

Now you try it. You’ll need to look at what you do, not just as a job, but as the results you create. That transforms the perceptions of your occupation. “I’m a receptionist” turns into “I’m a maker of first impressions.”

“I’m a project manager,” becomes, “I bring together teams to hit deadlines while adjusting client’s exception (did you mean exceptions or expectations?)and creating unity in the project vision.”

“I’m a relator” is expressed as, “I make dreams come true, create security and a place to build a future.”

I’m an admin turns into, “I’m tamer of chaos.”

I hope you’ll let me know how it works for you. Then you can turn your job into a TED talk and  let me help.


  1. Judy, I am changing my pitch today!!! Next I'm booking a flight so I can chat with someone in aisle 16A
    Hope to see you at Erma

  2. Judy, I love this! I just had an aha moment. I truly am a tamer of chaos. I reorganize school libraries. A few years ago many school librarians were let go in response to budget cuts. The result was total chaos in the "Learning Resource Centres". I was brought in to clean up the mess. I create orderly, serene environments where students can come to chill-out in a safe, bully-free setting. It's a Kindness Zone.

  3. I love this. Better than an elevator pitch.


Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.