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Attending networking events can potentially open up a whole remit of business opportunities. But do you maximise your presence in order to gain increased visibility or access to your target audience?

Most meetings require a pitch to introduce your business. BNI and most networking groups allow 60 seconds, other groups such as 4Networking incorporate only 40 seconds. For less than a minute, you have a valuable opportunity to present your business, products or services to everybody in the room. However it is important to remember that whilst selling yourself (or business) there is the second level of opportunities to potentially, attendees’ contacts too.

The process of standing up and talking in front of strangers can be daunting and most people rush through their pitch and seldom use their allocation. It is a shame to miss the opportunity, especially when meetings are invariably early in the morning and a lot of time, money and effort has been used to facilitate an attendance.

So what is important within this brief allocation of time?

*Practise your body language. Look professional. Speak clearly, confidently and ensure that everybody can hear you.

* Try to be memorable. Everybody has a limited attention span and with 10, 20, 30 or 40 pitches in quick succession, there’s only so much people can remember, especially if taking notes too.

* Say your name and company at the beginning and at the end. If your pitch is of interest, it is important to remind everybody who you are and your company name.

* Business begins with trusted relationships. Identify why people should use you and reinforce with your USP.

*Be specific about your ideal introduction. State why these important people should invest their valuable time to see you. What is their advantage? Consider their benefits or solutions to specific needs or requirements. Be clear and concise.

* A call to action.

* Have a powerful strapline. Finish your pitch on a high and if possible, make people smile. Humour can be risky so be prudent.

FYI – Never ask for anybody or everybody. This equates to nobody!

All this in 40 – 60 seconds is difficult. Basically it’s 8-10 seconds a point. Try not to engage in conversation, be succinct, powerful and memorable. Plus don’t lose valuable seconds by standing up slowly. Be ready when it’s your turn.

If people are interested in you, your products or services, facilitate their ability to find you on multiple platforms. LinkedIn and testimonials/recommendations from colleagues/clients is a good start and their formalisation of a positive experience. Plus an impressive digital shop window is crucial – a powerful and strategically written website.

If you would like more information, please contact Michelle Harris – Mobile: 07949 556 294 or email: /