Keep it brief

Attending a large number of networking meetings on a regular basis means seeing lots of people and listening to them introducing themselves to other contacts, both old and new.

One thing the vast majority of networking clubs have in common is the one minute (or less) presentation, allowing members the opportunity to continue the process of introducing their business to others.

There’s obviously a skill to this because it would be very easy to sound clichéd and boring with the result that nobody in your audience takes any notice whatsoever and everyone at the meeting just sits through these minute long speeches, idly tapping the table and wishing for breakfast (or lunch) to be served.

So what should you do or say?

Well, the whole point is to inform and enthuse in a bite sized chunk. Whatever you do, don’t ramble on for considerably more than your minute. Unless meeting chairpersons are being particularly awkward, you’ll be OK to go slightly over but try to stick within the time allowed. This is both polite and skilful. Going on too long is potentially boring, boastful and also suggests that you have no idea how to distil your message properly.

This doesn’t mean that you should stand up and say, for example, “Hello, I’m John and I’m an Accountant. Talk to me if you want your accounts done for you.” No, the trick is to pack as much into a short time as you can and to vary your approach so that your colleagues’ knowledge of you and your business grows incrementally, meeting by meeting.

It’s best to start by saying who you are, what you do, perhaps where you can be found if appropriate and then move on to give an example of how you can help others, the services you provide or the products you sell and so on. If you offer a wide ranging selection, pick one particular area to focus on each time and ring the changes regularly. Alternatively, think about a piece of relevant information or advice which you can offer your colleagues and which might stimulate them to take up your services themselves or recommend that someone else does so. It is probably also necessary to direct their attention specifically towards a lead or a piece of business you are keen to acquire at that time.

If you can finish with a ‘memory hook’ in the form of a catchy verbal or practical reminder about your business it should guarantee you remain in their thoughts until the next time you meet.