The one minute introduction – love it or hate it?

No prevarication from me on this one – I love the one minute introductions!

Why? Because I get to find out about everyone’s businesses and there is always such an interesting and useful mix of different services and products. Last month there were 48 of us in the room and in only 50 minutes we had found out what everyone did – and if you were there I am sure you identified several people whose services could be useful to you.

Equally you had the chance to tell all those people what you do … and that really is the point of the one minute.

If you are taking time out of your busy day to attend a networking meeting you want to make sure that everyone in the room knows who you are and what you do.

Of course this is only the starting point and staying to chat afterwards (or open networking to use the “correct” jargon) is just as important but having the one minute introductions means you can identify who you would like to talk to and gives other people the chance to realise that they need to speak to you.

So how do you make a good first impression in your one minute – nothing complicated here just SMILE and look round the group as you say hello – and remember to speak up so that you sound confident (and we can all hear you).

Your audience will be a mix of people who do and don’t know you so:

What to say. Your name, your business name and a couple of sentences describing what you do. Keep this basically the same every time then you know that new people get a clear summary of your business and regulars start to remember it.

Then for the last 30 seconds try and say something that demonstrates your credibility and professionalism for example:

Tell us about a project you have worked on or  client you have helped recently.

Give us an insight into how you work perhaps by describing one specific tiny detail  of what might be involved in your business so that we get an understanding of the depth of your knowledge. (Regular attendees will have heard me talk about the hour and half it takes me to train a teenage distributor to safely deliver a magazine through a letter box. Favourite line from that I am told is “letterboxes can be evil!”)

Make a topical reference – to something that has been in the news or perhaps a report or study that has been published.

Finally I must mention props – the best way to get people to remember you and what you do is to show us …and if you think that is impossible – people still talk about the accountant who brought along a shopping bag filled with receipts at one of our early Coffee and Connect meetings!


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