This week I ran three speed networking events for project managers. The aim was to provide a structured opportunity for project managers to network with their professional colleagues and promote themselves or their business, or in other words, provide answers to the question “What do you do?”. As this was the first time these had been run, some participants discovered just how hard it is to condense what they do into 90 seconds or less.
We all know that first impressions count. So, you have one minute to explain yourself, your business, and why someone should work with you. How do you do it?
HBS suggests a well-crafted pitch should cover four areas:
1. Describe who you are – What do you want the listener to remember about you?
2. Describe what you do – Try to eliminate any jargon or technical terms. Instead focus on the value your provide to your clients. What are the key results or impact of what you do? The listener should understand how you add value. Consider using a story of a typical client to illustrate your value.
3. Describe why you are unique – What do you do that is different or better than others? If you can describe this in terms of benefits, even better.
4. Describe your goals – This is essentially a call to action. What do you want your listener to do, what are you asking of him or her?
Once you’ve crafted your pitch, practice it. Practice until it doesn’t sound canned. Practice refining it for different target audiences. Practice using a variety of examples to describe what you do and why you are unique. Practice how you will handle any questions they listener may ask. Practice until you can say it with confidence to anyone you meet.
“What do you do?” I’m sure you’ve been asked this question numerous times. It’s probably the most common question we ask someone whom we meet for the first time, at a meeting, networking event, or during the coffee break at a seminar.
What first impression do you make when responding to “What do you do?”?
Does your 60 second pitch need some work to make it stand out from the crowd? Would you like to practice it with someone? For an investment of just NZ$30, I’ll help you craft a pitch that will make a convincing first impression and persuade listeners to action. Contact me now.