Do you find standing up and speaking to a room of people very scary? The first time I stood in front of a room of networking contacts I was petrified when doing my networking introduction. If you struggle with your networking introduction (or elevator pitch, or “60 seconds”) this article will help you with nerves, and stop you from having to read it from a script, so you can deliver something that’s more effective.
Stop reading it
I know you’re nervous and that you can’t remember (properly) all the amazing things you have written down, and that’s why you want to read it out. Stop and think what it looks like to others in the room.
If you don’t know your own business well enough to introduce it, it doesn’t look good. It looks like you don’t know your own job!
The problem is often that people are taught to include a lot of information, and to try and sound clever. That only comes with lots of practice.
KISS – Simplify it
K.I.S.S stands for Keep it simple, stupid. Keeping it so simple that you don’t have to keep worrying about it. What could you do to make your introduction simpler? How about removing a lot of it (at least until you grow in confidence).
What parts of the introduction matter?
When networkers listen to your networking introduction they want to know who is in the room, and what sort of things those people do. Your role is to deliver that, so people can come and ask you questions. Your networking introduction doesn’t have to sell to others, it doesn’t have to cover every aspect of what you do, it doesn’t need to have clever rhymes and punchlines. It doesn’t even have to fill up the entire 40 or 60 seconds you have been given.
30 seconds, easily understood, beats 60 seconds of sleep inducing trivia
If you want to be remembered, stop trying so hard to be memorable. Focus on delivering some that’s brief, bright and over. It’s easier to remember, it’s easier to say, and people will listen to more of it.
What should you say?
I’m not going to say what you should say, other than make it a whole lot simpler. There are two things that you could say, which will be interesting and easy for you to remember.
- Your name
- How you helped one client last week, and how pleased she was afterwards. That might not cover everything you do, but it does mean you have a ready supply of relevant information which you can remember easily and are proud of. Pride and confidence will come across as a result.
Try it, see how much easier it feels.