The “One Minute Intro”! 

Now that we are out and about attending networking events in person the question “what to say in my one minute?” has appeared again so I thought it might be helpful if I explained how I approach it.

The most important sections of your introduction are the beginning and end, so spend some time crafting your opening and closing sentences and commit them to memory.

The beginning is important for you, because it gets you over that nervous starting off stage and the ending is important for the people listening – you want to end strong, with a clear message. That is why a closing strapline is so good.

Then you need to work out the main bit in the middle:

A standard introduction

A good place to start is to create a standard introduction to your business that will work in all situations and that you can easily edit down. 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. Memorise this too and practice regularly. (If you ever see me in the car stuck at traffic lights I am not talking to myself, I am rehearsing networking presentations!)

Of course, the key to successful networking is to attend regularly so for your regular events you need to mix it up a bit. Here are a few ideas that I use:

Share advice

Share some useful tips on how to do something related to your business e.g. I recently shared some tips on how to proof a piece of copy.

Talk about why you do something 

Often there are very specific reasons why we do things a certain way in our business – usually born out of knowledge and (sometimes painful!) experience – so tell us about them. It demonstrates you really are an expert.

What have you been talking about recently?

Frequently I will get several calls from different prospective customers but they are all focussed on one particular subject. (This week it has been leaflet distribution!) What is your “topic of the moment”?

What have you 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.

What have you heard about?

… in the news or maybe seen on LinkedIn that is relevant to your 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. 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 so can you about your business.