December 13, 2012 10.31 am This story is over 105 months old

Lincoln networker: Delivering the perfect elevator pitch

Pitch perfect: Business networking events are like a shop window, so delegates need to make the right impression from the start.

At most networking events delegates get the opportunity to present their businesses to all or some of the other delegates. This is a shop window, a chance to make a really positive first impression – so delegates need to make good use of it.

Preparation is key, as in all business activities

  • the venue and the time must be checked, to avoid being late
  • the format is important – is it room, table or 1-to-1 ?
  • delegates should be aware of dress code, to look the part
  • an idea of the other attendees helps to structure the pitch
  • before writing the pitch, the delegate needs to confirm objectives
  • the content & timing must be right, so rehearsal is critical
  • the use of props can be most effective, to prompt or to adorn

Performance will be effective if preparation has been adequate

  • it is not wise to speak whilst dragging a chair
  • a deep breath often avoids speaking too quickly
  • the name of the delegate and business must be clear
  • the temptation must be resisted to include too much
  • it is important to concentrate on differentiators
  • other delegates need to know what the speaker is seeking
  • the pitch needs to be memorable!

A pitch is made memorable by telling people what they want to hear

  • this is my NAME and business
  • this is the BENEFIT of what I do
  • this is HOW I do it
  • just like I have for THIS CUSTOMER
  • and this is my NAME again

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Mike Stokes had a long exporting career and has advised new exporters since 2003. He networked prolifically to establish his own business and then in 2009 he formed his own networking group in Lincoln, The Business Club.