Making the Most of Business Networking
3rd August 2013
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There are many fantastic opportunities around Watford to promote your business face-to-face to other local business owners. These are called business networking meetings. There are lots of choose from, including The Best of Watford Coffee with the Cream, which meets on the last Friday of every month (except August)... look out for me there!

Although meeting structures vary, you will usually be asked to speak for 1-2 minutes, a) to introduce your business and explain what it does and b) to ask for help or referrals from other local business owners.

It's wise to prepare your monthly minute in advance so you don't end up rambling and squandering your precious 60-120 seconds. But how should you structure your 'pitch' if you've never been to one of these meetings before?

1. Your minute must be memorable, so do all you can to make your business sound interesting! Don't think that because there are many businesses like yours that you can't stand out. Think of a short, amusing story that explains what your business does well. Capture our imagination.

2. Don't try to say too much. Stick to no more than three key points. Don't overload everyone with too much information. It's perfectly okay to talk for less that your allotted time. It's not okay to over-run, no matter how interesting you think your business is!

3. If you're nervous, take a couple of deep breaths and drink water before you begin to speak (in fact, do this anyway). When you speak, smile and try to make eye contact with as many others in the room as you can. People buy from people, so try to look happy and approachable, even if you feel terrified!

4. Practice your minute over and over in advance. You'll be more relaxed and less likely to stumble when it comes to doing it for real.

5. The goal is to exchange information, not to get your minute out then collapse back into your chair with a sigh of relief! If you're well-practiced you'll feel less nervous and you'll remember to be attentive when other people are telling you about their businesses. Be a good listener and make a note to approach anyone you think you might be able to help or who may be able to help you.

And 6 - never phub!!!

Phubbing is 'phone snubbing', when you stop paying attention to the person you're conversing with to check or answer your phone. Hear what I think of phubbing in this interview on BBC Radio


About the Author

Julie H

Member since: 1st October 2012

If you would you like... more friends, greater respect, more money, greater confidence & more influence then become a public speaker because great public speakers have it all!

I run open workshops & 121...

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