How to make your 1-minute count
What makes you look up (from your bacon and eggs or plate of curry) and really listen to someone doing their one-minute round at a networking event?
Be honest… are you someone that bores people or do you educate, amuse or inspire your audience into taking action?
Here are some tips on how to create memorable one minute presentations. Don’t fall into the trap of being on auto-repeat at every networking event.
You should always plan the content of your minute and change it every time – particularly for groups that you attend very regularly. The more prepared you are, the more you can relax and concentrate on listening to others. That’s a vital step in making networking work!
ONE: Be memorable and grab attention
- Try asking a question to get attention and engage with people
- Try an unusual start and description of what you do… here are a couple of examples I have seen quoted before: “I’m a time lord. I help people get more from their working day” and “I help people get dressed. I’m an image consultant.”
- Always succinctly describe what you offer – make it benefit-led
- Always say your name and company name at the start or immediately after your ‘unusual start’
TWO: Focus your message
Don’t cover too many different things in each minute. Vary what you say each time by:
- Using a prop that links to what you offer
- Quoting a testimonial and who gave it to you
- Providing a great or shocking statistic
- Relaying a funny and relevant story
- Giving real examples of how you solved a problem, got a great result or averted a disaster for a client in the last week/month
- Being topical (by mentioning a news story) and linking this back to your offering
- Give advice on how to solve a common issue or provide the answer to a question you are often asked
- Give tips on how to do something
THREE: YOU and YOUR not me, me, me
Remember to talk to your audience using ‘you’ and ‘your’ language. That’s phrases such as ‘Are you looking for…’ or ‘Is your business suffering with….’
Don’t just talk about you (we do this, I do that…). Talk about issues the listener may be looking to solve.
Don’t waste your minute saying things like ‘We have been established since 1981 and have 5 warehouses in Sussex. Our lead time for producing widgets is 14 days….’ Yawn. So what? Is that the most important thing for me to know right now?
This tip applies to all the copy on your website and literature too!
FOUR: Include a call to action such as:
- Requesting an introduction to a particular company (this is very successful for many people)
- Details of an offer and how to take it up
- How/where to buy/view a new product
- Asking people to note down a date and give details of how to book onto your event
- Connecting on LinkedIn or Liking your Facebook page
FIVE: Deliver it well
You may be nervous and hate presenting, but networking works for many businesses. Practise, Practise, Practise. It will get better!
Look up, smile, look around, and make eye contact. Speak clearly and loud enough to be heard. Don’t speak too fast. Have your script on cards or paper if you need it. Look presentable and feel comfortable.
Finish with your name, company name and catchphrase or strapline if you have one.
What’s the best networking 1 minute introduction or full pitch that you’ve ever heard?
I’d love to hear – please email firstname.lastname@example.org.