Don't Be Afraid Of Your 60-seconds!

When I talk to visitors who are out networking for the first time, they all say the same thing. "Do I have to stand up and talk about myself? It's terrifying!" I remember the first time I did a 60-seconds and yes it can be, but there are ways to make it far easier for yourself ...

It was many, many years ago and it was the very first time I'd been networking. There were about 200 people in the room and someone handed me a mic and told me to tell everyone about myself. And I rambled, and I stammered, and I got embarrassed.

"I even shook a little bit because of everyone looking at me!"

But I got through it and sat down in relief. In fact, I had a lot of people come and talk to me afterwards because, thankfully, I was able to tell everyone what I did and some were quite interested in finding out more about what I offered.

At BNI Sterling, we still ask you to stand up and tell everyone about who you are and what you do, but remember, we've all been there, we've all been to our first networking event and we've all been scared witless beforehand and hugely relieved afterwards.

"Want to know the secret to getting your 60-seconds right?"

Prepare it beforehand and write it down! No one is going to care that you're reading from a piece of paper; we're all eager to know more about you and we want you to enjoy being at BNI Sterling.

In fact, many of our members do exactly the same. I use my iPad (when I remember to take it), but others use their phone or print it out and read it from paper. We want to know who you are and how we can help you, not score you on how well you perform.

There are a couple of things you need to include in your 60-seconds (printed or otherwise!). Firstly, remember that you're not 'selling into the room' you're letting us know who your ideal client is, or more specifically, someone you want to talk to who one of us will know.

Here's how to do a great 60-seconds:

- Quickly tell us your name, where you're from and what your business does
- Summarise what you're promoting, but don't pitch it for sales from the room
- Tell us who you're looking for ... the more specific the better
- Let us know why this person (or group of people) would want what you offer
- Remind us who you're looking for
- Tell us who you are again, the hit us with your businesses tag line!

And that's it! Wasn't scary really was it? Especially if you just read it from your iPad or from a sheet of paper. You'll notice that we were all making notes as you spoke so you may even get one or more of our members coming to talk to you after the meeting about your offer.

"They may be able to make a referral for you straight away!

So, my advice to you is to be prepared and just go for it. We're a friendly bunch at BNI Sterling and we only want you to succeed. And we always love to have visitors back for a second meeting too.