Developing a Repertoire of “One Minutes”

Many networking groups give you the opportunity to introduce yourself and your business to the room but styles, format and time allowed all vary so it is good to develop a variety of introductions.

A good place to start is to draft a standard introduction to your business that will work in all situations and to then create several different length versions which you commit to memory. Then when someone says “oh we do have time for introductions after all, let’s start with you Mel”, as has happened to me in the past, you don’t panic, you can just go straight into one of your prepared introductions.

This type of standardized info will work when you are visiting a new event however successful networking is all about attending events regularly, so for these meetings you need to mix it up a bit.

I always suggest starting in the same way – your name, business name and a simple, easy to understand sentence summarising what you do, before moving onto your main content – and it is this main content which you should change.

I identify material for this main content from three main areas:

What have I been talking about recently?

Frequently I will get several calls from different prospective customers but they are all focussed on one particular subject. Recently I had several discussions about sharing knowledge with my readers by writing articles rather than by running an advert so I spoke about that. What is your “topic of the moment”?

What have I been doing this week?

Perhaps I have been editing articles and checking out advice from the Advertising Standards Authority so I will talk about the ASA and the requirement to ensure adverts comply with their guidelines – i.e. share your knowledge.

What have I heard about…

… in the news, or read about in a publishing / marketing journal or seen on LinkedIn that is relevant to my business? Perhaps there has been a piece of market research published, a report presented by a national body, a new piece of legislation that will affect your customers or simply a piece of journalism that might be interesting to mention. Some of you may remember me talking about a feature in Marketing Week written by Marketing Professor Mark Ritson. Is there “News” that affects your business?

The reason I try and identify topics in areas that I have been talking about, working on and finding out about is that they are all subjects I know and can talk about with ease. I am not having to research, learn and memorise something new – I am talking about my business, the way it works and the wider context in which I operate – and I can quite comfortably do this for days on end!

… and most importantly so can you about your business.

So next time you want to refresh your one minute, just think about your week and what you have talking about, working on and finding out about and take it from there.

 Oh, and one last tip – remember to write these new presentations down and save them so you start to develop a catalogue of “one minutes”.