Developing a repertoire of one minute introductions

When you start off attending networking meetings you are always very focussed on the one minute introduction but after a while it gets easier and you know what to say. However then you realise that you can’t keep saying the same thing over and over as a) lots of people have heard it before and b) it is difficult to inject enthusiasm when you are reciting the same words each time.

So what you need to develop is a range of different introductions so you can vary your repertoire. My two main criteria are always a) what message do I want to get over and b) who are the audience.

This is not as daunting as it sounds. One thing we all struggle with is keeping to our one minute. Just imagine you have no time limit and make some notes of what you would say – write down everything you would like to tell people (e.g. describe your business, what differentiates you / your business, what do customers say in their testimonials etc).

You will probably end up with quite a few pages however if you analyse them you should be able to identify a number of key themes which can each be the focus of a different one minute introduction. If you are very organised you could even map out each one then but in the real world that is probably a step too far! Just make sure you keep your notes then when you want to try a different one minute intro you already have all the raw material to refer to.

The other important thing to do is to analyse which one minute introductions work and which don’t. I always prepare and write mine in advance (I have several notebooks full in my office!) and some that read well just don’t work in practice, but if you can see people really connecting with what you are saying then make sure you highlight that one to use again.

I mentioned “the audience” earlier and it is always good to have a standard introductory one minute ready for when you attend a new meeting or, if lots of new people come along to one of your regular events you can switch to this summary introduction instead.

Finally, we all have days when we are running late or feeling under the weather. On those occasions you need a fail safe one minute intro that you know backwards and can deliver without any hesitation – in fact probably the one that you started off with originally!

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