While most of your daily networking commercials will be 30 seconds to a minute, there will be times when you are networking that you have the great OPPORUTNITY to speak for an extended time about your business.
Prepare, Engage and Succeed!
When was the last time you gave a 10-minute talk about anything? High school speech class, your college reunion talking about the good old days, or preaching about some political issue to your in-laws at the holidays?
If you want your business to be built on the success or failure of those, then you don’t need to prepare and practice. Otherwise, here are some hints on how to give a great public speech or networking commercial about your company and make people want to engage with you.
Start by preparing a proper introduction for your networking commercial. When these opportunities come up to speak, someone will normally be introducing you. They can say “Here’s Sam Smith who runs a pluming company”, or they can give a properly thought through introduction that builds you up. Remember, they are at the front of this meeting because the members chose them to lead it. They are being listened to. Use that to your benefit. Prepare a 3×5 card for them to read off of so they hit the highlights that you want people to know about you. Every good speaker starts off saying what they are going to say, then they say it, then they told you what they said in a wrap up. Use the introduction to start off the “what is going to be said” phase of your speech (Hint: it usually doesn’t count against the time you have to speak).
Now that you are at the podium, you need to be engaging. Here are some do’s and don’ts:
- Do have fun!
- Do use key words wherever possible.
- Do pinpoint ways members can send you business.
- Do use visuals! A visual will be remembered longer
- Don’t use this time to talk about your personal life.
- Don’t pass out literature when you take center stage as it will distract from your message. Either have it in place on the tables before you speak, or let members know more information will be placed on the registration table to be picked up as they leave.
- Don’t use industry jargon—it confuses people.
- Don’t spend time on the history of your company