‘Networking’ is a buzz word these days, which is finding an important place among all the different texts written, either in the form of articles, blog posts, or discussion forums. Everyone is busy doing networking for some purpose. But just like every complex chemical reaction has many bi-products, big networking too has some disadvantages. But, this is not the topic of my blog post. In this post, I will focus on how to use your network through one simple example. For other things related to optimization of your global network, you need to wait for sometime. I am currently working to develop a framework for the same.
Let’s get back onto the topic of this post. You may have created a big network, but without any active engagements with your contacts, it is of no use.
If you do not interact with your network, how you going to get any mutual(you and your contacts) benefits of networking?
Now, you will definitely ask, who am I making this statement?
Well, I build my network over the years and expanded to over 100 countries. If I have to include my entire professional activities and personal work, then it is really very very huge. Having said that, it is a challenge to maintain this large network. Equally challenging is to figure out methods to stay engaged with contacts.
I will elaborate some of the methods, I have tried so far in my framework. For now, let me elaborate one of the recent experimentation in engaging/testing/using my network for mutual benefits.
Global Marketing Presentation:Part of Global Branding (Establishing a New Idea)
I know, I know, your reactions. What is the relation between networking and a power point presentation? Global Marketing Presentation was the summarized version of my efforts in promoting a new idea(Zero Cost MBA) around the world. This presentation was unique in 2 ways.
First, it was about a new idea, therefore it has to be told in the right way. Second, this presentation has to be self read by readers. It was going to be available in the public domain and I had no idea about my target audience. They could be living anywhere, working in any profession, and could be of any nationality.
Since it was not a usual corporate presentation. I started with a white slide and added details into it step by step. The presentation was kept as simple as possible. Every factual information presented in it was thoroughly checked for accuracy. But, how do I make sure that my message is going to be conveyed to my readers in the same way, as I envisioned?
That’s where, my diverse network helped.
Although, main language used in the presentation was ‘English’, I was very much aware of different interpretations of the same word.
Let’s say, an English word is used by one set of speakers to describe a life event. This same life event can be described by similar (yet different) word by the second set of speakers.
For example, I found very recently that, the word ‘Feedback’ in one region gave similar effect as the word ‘Response’ in another region. Technically different words, but practically conveying same message to different audience. My presentation is meant for global audience. Therefore, how should I make sure to get it right for everyone?
I selected around 60-70 people in my network(friends, colleagues, recently connected, and some unknowns) from approximately 30 countries. These countries covered all the important geographical world regions. I have sent them my prepared presentation. Asked them to provide feedback on it using the following guidelines.
– Does the presentation able to convey message clearly to you ?
– Are there any grammar mistakes? Is there any need to change some English words to make it more clear to the reader?
Feedback received was overwhelming and provided lot of good insight. One of the English word popularly used in Asia does not fit equally well in South America; and do not have any visibility in Africa.
So, there were 3 words to convey the same message in 3 different region. But, there is going to be only one presentation. And this presentation is also going to be same for everyone.
So, which word is most suitable conveying idea as clear as possible?
I had to open dictionary to find similar, simple words. After, continuous communication with different feedback providers, one appropriate word has been finalized and inserted. It took me 3-4 weeks to make this presentation and another 3 weeks to make it relevant for every reader. Getting feedback from these many people itself became a mini project.
Global Translation Presentation: Part of Global Outreach(>50% of World Population)
I followed similar strategy for the presentation of Global Translation Project. This time, I replaced most of the people with another set of people from my network. Also, I have gone one step ahead and asked people in some countries to check the previous presentation at a lower bandwidth internet connection. Many parts of the world do not have high speed internet connection. So, if my previous presentation could work even in the low bandwidth, then it will make my efforts worthy enough to be read by everyone. This test was successful. Global Translation Presentation too was later checked in same manner.
Zero Cost MBA(Global Manager for 21st Century)
Similar methodology has been adapted before releasing this presentation in the public domain. ‘
Advice of other people was very helpful in modifying presentations in making it more effective and simpler. I also received many useful tips related to my project and work.
If I had not interacted with my network, I would have never discovered so many interesting things.
Many people wonder, why I need network to review a presentation? Am I not good in English to ask others around?
Well, after reading my story, this question can be easily answered. I found a way to engage with people in my network and it also helped them learn something new. This also opened up a new platform for communication and made our professional association more stronger. Isn’t it, that was the whole purpose of networking?
In the end, I just want to say, networking is a great concept So stay happy and enjoy productive networking!! It does help to do big things.