I’ve been out and about networking this week and, as always, it has been an interesting experience. Some people are naturals. They have an empathy with the people they meet and an easy manner which enables them to build relationships quickly. Others are awkward and it can be a bit of a challenge to keep a conversation going. However, for me the worst type of networkers are those who only want to talk about themselves and show no interest in me. I get to the stage where I switch off and stop hearing what they are saying.
It’s even easier to switch off when people are doing their one minute (or less) presentations. Very few people really engage me at the start of their pitch. Some experienced networkers will use a hook, humour or other device to gain my attention and make me remember them. However most people just launch in to a description of what they do, they can be half way through their few seconds before I realise that what they are saying might be of interest.
As with any marketing or communication it’s important to qualify your audience and give them a reason for listening. Raise their curiosity. Explain how you can help them. Recognise that the first part of what you say will probably pass them by before their brains are fully engaged so make sure it’s either unimportant or repeated. Starting and finishing with your name can deal with that problem. Using a question or two will help to engage their interest. Keep it simple. Don’t try to cover everything in just a few seconds. Leave them wanting to make a follow up appointment with you and then make sure you listen just as much (if not more) than you speak.
Graham Le Gall and I will be running a 3 hour ‘Winning It in One Minute’ workshop in Ealing on Monday June 27th 2011 from 11.00a.m.-2.00p.m. We’ll help you to develop and deliver an effective, memorable 60 second presentation targeted at the right audience. The cost of this pilot workshop is a never to be repeated £30; to reserve your place email firstname.lastname@example.org