Just 60 seconds:
‘Networking’. It’s a term that strikes fear into many a person’s heart. A room full of strangers, with whom we are tasked with striking up a conversation to try to sell our wares, around a central coffee urn. And then someone announces that ‘You’ll all get a chance to be heard by everyone in the room, in the 60 second pitches’.
That moment when we are expected to deliver an actor-trained, quality overview of our company, with the ability to attract those relevant contacts in the room to engage in a 1-2-1 which will convert to quality leads for our business. Eek, pressure!
Many of us don’t have experience of standing up in front of a room full of people, let alone addressing them confidently with everybody looking on expectantly. Yet at many networking events, it has become the norm to do a round the room presentation of 60 seconds.
For many this involves conquering a rising panic, trying to catch someone’s eye who is similarly struck with tongue-tied peril, conjuring up a punchy pitch without hyperventilating throughout and selling yourself as a great front person of an amazing company with whom to do business with.
There’s lots of advice on how to succeed with public speaking techniques, so I’ll leave that to the experts, although BEING PREPARED is probably the most important tip. Knowing your audience is not simply a case of researching your fellow members – it’s more about knowing yourself and how you behave in these situations. If you are likely to go blank then have your speech written down, if you’re happy to ‘wing it’ but are concerned about missing salient points then jot down some bullet points.
But know this: you are not alone. Plumbers, photographers, copywriters and on-line marketers are not always natural public speakers either! And ultimately every single person in that room is willing you on – they want you to do well and they’re all on your side! So put your fears aside and have a go at networking – it really is an excellent way to do business.
Seven top tips for your 60 seconds
- Be concise
- Give people an insight in to your industry
- Be clear about what you wish to achieve
- Invite people to approach you to arrange a one to one meeting
- Speak clearly, fluently and slowly
- Make eye contact with the audience
- Smile 🙂
Of course, if you need some help with presentation skills training then we can highly recommend our client Simply Amazing Training who specialise in this area.