For many of us, we have had that awkward moment at a networking event, where there is just 60 seconds to introduce ourselves.

Very seldom do people say, “Hey, what do you do in your free time?” What they say is what do you do…aka what is your work?

A little while ago I attended a local networking event. There were over 55 people in the room, we were standing around waiting to get our coffee before the meeting started.

Picture this….

As I was standing there, an older woman walked up to me.

“Oh, hello, I’m Lorraine*, and who are you?”

I said, “My name is Bron Watson.”

She said, “What do you do?”

I said… “I’m in the business of social media and marketing.”

And as I stood there looking at her, waiting for her to continue the conversation, I saw her eyelids flutter and look at me with that… ‘oh another marketing girl look’.

She turned and walked away.

Rookie mistake…considering I have been in business for almost ten years.

I well and truly duffed it.

Recently I caught up with eWomenNetwork Premier Success Coach Kricket Harrison and she spoke about the importance of a message and the power of a successful 60-second introduction, ways for me to never do a ‘Lorraine’ again.

TIP ONE –  MASTERING YOUR MESSAGE

Start with focusing on your unique point of view, what you are known for and stand for.

People don’t work with you for what you do, they work with you because of who you are.

Being a part of eWomenNetwork I have attended many events and one of the things I see a lot is someone who is not clear on their message.

What happens naturally is we want to talk about ourselves. It’s human nature but the fact is whether you’re on social media, on a stage or at a networking event it is not really about you, it’s about the person in front of you.

Being clear on your unique point of view is what I believe to be the secret sauce for people who stand out online and those who don’t.

TIP TWO –  MAKE IT ABOUT THEM

Here is an example of what not to do.

“Good morning, I’m so and so and I do this and I have this degree and I have 10 letters by my name that you don’t know what they mean, but I was in corporate for 30 years and I’m Six Sigma and I’m this and I’m this and I’m this. And I want to help people. I’m a business coach and I help people grow their business.” Their 60 seconds is up, and you really still don’t know what they do. It’s all about them.

How on earth can you refer this person when you have no idea on what they do, one huge missed opportunity.

TIP THREE – PASSION IN BUSINESS WORKS WELL WHEN DONE RIGHT

Kricket says passion is defined as an uncontrolled emotion. In the networking space, yes be passionate in your business, be passionate about what you can do for your customer, not passionate about yourself and your business.

I often say to my clients and in my network, the number one question to have on the tip of your tongue is this…’How can I help? rather than ‘What can you do for me?’.

When you’re networking, it’s not just about the person you’re talking to, it’s also about their network and beyond… Kricket calls this the six degrees of connection rather than separation, you want the second-degree connection to be able to clearly say who you are and what you do…aka your message.

Is your message so clear someone else can share it for you?

Really focus on the problem and not the solution, not the how, this is not the time to go into the details of how you deliver what you do, state this clearly and avoid what is called tribal language.

Every industry has tribal language, and this can be lethal in marketing and indeed when networking.  You may know what transformational is, but no one else will.

You see tribal language a lot in the marketing and coaching space.  It’s only been in the last few years that I have worked hard on not using marketing lingo.

Kricket went on to say talk like they’re a fifth-grader who’s unaware. Don’t ‘treat’ them like they’re a fifth-grader, simply use language in communication to suit a 12-year-old. Use language that does not have to be explained.

The reason for this quite simple, we all have different definitions for words, it definitely stems from our upbringing, the minute we have to go into our brain to understand what is being said, we’re not paying attention anymore.

An introduction at any event is not a pitch. Krickets number one tip is to ditch the pitch because we haven’t earned the right to pitch anybody anything when we’ve just met them.

By mastering your message, not only will you nail the 60 seconds, you will open up a whole new world for connection and collaboration.

Let’s be clear, the purpose of networking is to take the next step in building relationships, to connect and collaborate not sell something.

Have a great week,

Bron