Guest Blog by Bob Shepherd, Bob Shepherd Associates
Business breakfasts, business networking events and similar events often invite you to stand up and have one minute to say what you do! Remember, first impressions count! Where to start? Similarly a common approach when at an event to meet new people is to ask, ‘What do you do?’ Much the same sort of content is required then as well.
Put on the spot you might struggle. Standing up and announcing to the gathered throng how good you are does not come easily either. Even those who have done it enough times to be relaxed about can and do get it wrong. Are they too worrying about those vital first impressions?
Obviously, if you are a new business you do need to sort out just what you do and what you need to say about it. There are some tactics you might adopt to give good first impressions and avoid drying up and wishing you were invisible.
1) Have some simple things to say about what you have to offer. (Not so much what you do, but rather the benefit of using your service or product)
2) Rehearse it to check timing and sensible content but do not over rehearse. Never read it out unless you are so nervous you really need to do so. In which case make sure you speak it and don’t read it. The tone of your voice when reading will be informational, not inviting.
3) Have a summary line which is memorable. Humorous perhaps, or at least a neat summation of your key message.
4) Speak up but do not shout. You do want them to hear you right?
5) Take a breath as you stand up and sort out your chair before beginning to speak. Face your audience before speaking. If you say your name and business name do so slowly and clearly and pause to let it sink in.
6) You only have one minute. Have an intro, a middle and an end. Sit down having made a clear statement and not distracted your audience away from your message.
7) Avoid saying ‘also I do… ‘ then ‘also I do…’ with a long list. It’s better to keep your content to one area of business.
8) Follow a formula such as this: You know when..What I do is.. The result is..The benefits are.. (Not necessarily those words)
One of the key things BobShepherd Associates can give is an external view. This applies to networking speeches as much as anything else. Get a view of what you are saying from another perspective. It can always be better. As a sort of critical friend to my clients it is one of the minor but important aspects we cover together.
It’s a complicated thing altogether and worthy of a lengthy book chapter, but simple in its principles.