You watch as each person around the table gets up to speak.

Your heart starts racing.

Your mouth has gone dry.

You want to run out of the room.

But too late, it’s your turn…

Have you ever been to a networking event where you’ve been expected to do a 60 second pitch, and got that feeling of mounting dread as you watch other people do their introductions?  As your turn draws near, you go into full panic mode at the thought of standing up and doing your thing? In fact, just writing the above made my heart start racing as I remember my first attempts at speaking in front of a room full of people.

In a previous blog, I talked about how many startup entrepreneurs struggle to bring in the money but how landing your first big client isn’t as difficult as it may seem. (You can read it here).  Now I did eventually get clients through networking and part of that success came about through crafting a fabulous 60 second pitch.  But I’ll let you into a little secret, I wasn’t some super confident business woman who knew how to “work the room”.

In fact, my first appearance at a networking event was a disaster where I spent most of the time staring at the floor, hoping a hole would appear and swallow me up!

It’s likely that this is something that you’ve experienced yourself when going out networking.  The thought of walking up to complete strangers and starting a conversation can make you want to run for the hills.  And that’s before we’ve even touched on that little thing called the 60 second round.  Where you’re being asked to get up and speak about you and your business in front of a room full of people.  It’s sweaty palm time!

But crafting a compelling 60 second pitch is not just about being able to speak in public.  You often don’t know what you’re supposed to say either.  You tell people your name and what you do, but even as you say it, you sense that it’s not going to get people elbowing each other out of the way to find out more.  So your 60 seconds consists of you mumbling something before quickly sitting down, relieved that you’ve got that out of the way until the next time.

So while you may feel that only the most super confident entrepreneurs can stand up and pitch their services to strangers; in reality, anyone can do it with some preparation and practice.

Public speaker

In this blog, I’m going to share with you 2 key actions you can take to create a fabulous 60 second pitch that will get people wanting to work with you. 

The simplest way to create a successful 60 second pitch is to break it down into 3 questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Who do you do it for?
  3. How does it benefit your clients?

The answers to these questions will help you to create a 60 second pitch that is clear and memorable.  Because if your networking connections meet someone who’s looking for your services, you must be the first person they think of referring.  It’s that ability for people to refer you that is the real power of networking.

Now once you’ve crafted your 60 second pitch, your next task is to build your confidence to get the words out!

How I got over my nerves was to practice, practice, practice. This included standing in front of a mirror (horrifying!) and going over it again and again.  I also used a timer to make sure that I didn’t go over my allotted time.

But the thing that really helped me was to find out how it sounded both to myself and to other people.  So I recorded myself speaking (horrifying x 100!) and then listened to it back.  Because what may read well on paper, can sound complicated when you say it out loud.

Then once I had got something that I was happy with, it was a matter of putting my brave face on and rocking up to a networking event to test it out.  Don’t forget that the people you meet networking can give useful feedback on your 60 second pitch too.  Do they easily get what you do and feel comfortable about referring you to someone who’s looking for your services?

Over to you…

So grab a pen and paper or open up a blank document on your computer, and write out answers to the 3 questions that I gave above.  Develop your answers into a 60 second pitch and practice it until you’ve got something that you can confidently deliver to a group of people.  Then go out and just do it!  Get some feedback, refine it as necessary and keep at it.  And before you know it, you’ll be jumping at the chance to get up and pitch your services.

Watch out for my next blog in this series on how to reel in a stream of clients to your business where I will share with you how to use blogging to show people you’re the one to hire.

About Valerie

Valerie helps solo entrepreneurs create a clear online marketing strategy so they can get in front of their ideal clients and attract them to their business.

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