What’s a dinner party without good food, good music and great people? My friends already know I don’t play with the food at dinner parties (shout out to my fellow foodies) but they also know I’m all about the conversations that take place. However, I must admit that sometimes, I find myself trying to escape some conversations. You know those conversations where the person is trying to tell you what they do, but five minutes into the conversation you still have no clue what they do?

From experience, I’ve discovered that many people, especially at dinner parties, give very poor responses when asked this simple question, “Could you tell me a little bit about what you do?”

Sounds like a very easy question but many people struggle to come up with a response that makes a great impression and at the same time keeps the listener engaged in the conversation.

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I actually struggled for a while when I would respond to this question, but I eventually figured it out! I found an easy formula that will help you tell people what you do in a CLEAR, CONCISE, and COMPELLING way. It’s a 3-step guide that will transform your dinner party conversations so you can make a great impression on the right party guests.

Step 1:  Tell us the ‘Problem’. When you want to tell someone what you do, always start by mentioning the problem you are trying to solve in one sentence. Let us know the situation you are hoping can be better. It doesn’t matter if you are an employee, entrepreneur or even a student. Starting your response this way helps the listener to connect with the pain or issue that is at stake. For example, “I always struggle to find a reliable and trusted natural hair stylist whenever I visit a new city.” Every lady knows this can be a problem! Because we are human with emotions, we tend to sympathize with problems people have. It’s one of the ways we connect with people. Starting your response this way can serve as a great conversation opener.

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Step 2: Tell us the ‘Solution’ to this problem. This sentence is really key because it’s the chance you get to tell the listener what you are currently doing or hoping to do to solve the problem you mentioned in the beginning. “We aggregate hundreds of natural hair salons into one simple app. Nobody else does this.” At this point your listener can see you are not just all talk, you actually have the actions to backup the claims you made earlier. People gravitate towards ‘action’.

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Step 3: Tell us the ‘Result’ after the solution. People like to to know what happens after your solution comes into play.  They want to know the difference your ‘solution’ made. Did it impact lives, industries, systems? How will it affecting communities or a specific demographic? Remember to keep this part short and straight to the point.Going back to our example, the result is “People are able to find a trustworthy natural hair salon in a matter of seconds that is within their reach”

At this point, two things would have happened. You would have succeeded in grabbing their attention and also provoking their interest. All they would want to do now is ask more questions to find out more about what you do. If they want more, follow up with your ‘why’. Tell them ‘why’ you do what you do. Let them know your motivation.

The truth is, I have no doubt wearing the right outfit will help you make an impression at a dinner party. In fact, we see it on  social media all the time with the best-dressed lists. Nevertheless, experience has shown me that having  the right conversations at a dinner party leaves a greater impression on people than an outfit would. So while you slay in your outfit, let your conversations be on fleek too. You never know the impact your conversation could have on your career, dreams and aspirations.

About Ayanfe Olonade

Ayanfe Olonade is the founder of Resonae Solutions, a strategic communications company that specializes in helping brands who want to make a social impact use their story to capture, engage and inspire their target audience and customers. Ayanfe has successfully brought her expertise in content development and storytelling to a variety of industries with experience cutting across academic, financial, international development, and advertising sectors. For more tips on how to clearly communicate the value you have to offer, contact Ayanfe: Email: info@resonaesolutions.com Instagram: @resonaesolutions Twitter: @weareresonaeFacebook: @resonaesolutions.

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