60 Seconds in another language
Following in his Project BNI Focus quest – James Brooksbank has penned a new article:
As a ‘seasoned’ BNI member, putting together a 60 seconds is usually one of the easiest parts of my BNI routine. You can follow the tried and tested 5 point plan:
1 – Who you are
2 – What you do
3 – Who you are looking for
4 – Tag Line
And 5 – Insert last one here….
Or, you can go the Charlie Lawson route and tell a story.
Me, I like to see what’s going on, are there any visitors? Is there something I need to mention specific to my industry? Is there any one specific to meet? How much self deprecating humour can I get away with?
These questions I usually think to myself and hopefully inspiration will take a hold. Sometimes this works really well. Over the last few weeks I have found particular acronyms for my industry and I have tried to teach people what they are so they can listen out for them. This has gone down really well in some cases. In some not so much but 9 / 10 times I have been involved in a conversation based on something I have said.
One of my challenges for the BNI focus twinning project (Or BNIFTP) is to learn how to do my sixty seconds in another language, in this case Portuguese.
As an IT person, you may think this is easy… write something down, put it into Google translate and voila.
But there is an inherent problem, in the fact that, without any understanding of that language, you don’t know the context or if you are even saying it right. Going down this road, I would probably end up sounding like a Fast Show sketch (for those too young to remember, ask your dad) and making just as much sense.
The first element mentioned is fine, writing down the 60 seconds is key. This first blog post is just to explain how I came up with the 60 seconds to translate.
Firstly, computers confuse people anyway, so I could say anything in Portuguese to do with computers and not many people would know any difference. But that is not my aim…. I still want to potential to get a referral from someone in the room so it still needs to be relevant.
Which leads onto the next challenge, if you are speaking another language, how do you get the point across.
60 seconds is a tough time to get things in and if you aren’t prepared, then you can get carried away.
My approach is to first figure out what I want to achieve within my 60 seconds. With the task in mind, my main purpose for this 60 seconds is to get over, in another language that:
A – We provide mobile applications
B – We are really good at doing mobile applications.
So, with all this in mind, here is my initial 60 second which I have to translate. Not too complicated and hopefully won’t be too difficult.
“Good morning BNI, my name is James Brooksbank and the company I represent is Constructsys Ltd.
We provide mobile application development and the supporting software systems to have everything working.
We specialise on the construction industry, but this is not our only market, we also provide support to large telecom equipment companies, property based companies and business consultancy companies, so although we have a specialism, we are very good across multiple sectors.
We are ideally looking for large construction companies, but if you need some advice and anticipated potential cost for the mobile application, then give us a call.”
This may seem simple, but does lend itself to the usual BNI format and hopefully will reduce the difficulty of getting the understanding across.
My next blog will explain why everything in this post actually may not mean anything when the time comes, as long as you do your research.