Does Your 30-Second Introduction Get You “In” or Show You The Way “Out”?

by Sabrina Risley

Creating the perfect “elevator pitch” is something that many business owners and professionals fret over. If you’re stuck in elevator pitch rut, here are a few things to consider to craft a message that will produce results.

First things first, always abide by the allotted time given to each participant to share your intro. When you go significantly over the allowed “pitch” time, others will take notice and not necessarily in a good way. In fact, I would go so far as to say it can be distracting and your audience will stop listening to your message. Thirty seconds goes by very quickly so be mindful of the clock. To get a feel for the pace and how long your introduction is, practice and time yourself.

Second, what’s the goal of your intro? Are you looking to land a new power partner, make a contact at a specific company, or simply share about your business in an engaging way? When you know what it is you want to create, you can begin to craft the best message that will produce the biggest results.

Third, keep it simple. The more specific you are about what you are looking for or what it is you do, the more likely people will recognize that you are or could be a good match for them or someone in their network. If you have multiple services, products or businesses, it’s best to focus on just one to share about. You can always tailor your introduction depending on what audience you are addressing at the moment.

Fourth, focus on the benefits of your service instead of the features. A benefit is a specific result you provide or help your customers achieve. Your delivery can be a client story or testimonial that lets your captive audience know what you really do for people. Stories capture attention and help explain what you do without rattling off a boring list (yes, doing this is boring) of all the product/service you offer.

Next, if at all possible, try closing with a catchy tagline or slogan that is easily remembered. You will want to use it as often as possible and in all your marketing materials. If people can recite your catchy slogan or tagline, you know you have done a great job and will be remembered.

Finally, know that your 30-second introduction will morph and change over time.  If you find that no one is approaching you after a networking event, either you are in front of the wrong audience or you need to tweak your introduction slightly to be sure people are hearing what you intend. Consider testing your 30-second introduction on a trusted friend or advisor to get honest feedback.  You might also want to make adjustments to your introduction based on produce/service specials. What is it that you want to communicate this month? Since I have suggested you talk about only one product or service at a time, rotate your 30-second introduction to feature a new product offering each month, for example.

Now, you don’t need to memorize your introduction, but you want to know it such that you are comfortable in front of peers and can express your point without missing important information.  The best part of having a simple, attention-getting introduction is that, when in conversation with other professionals, it is a great answer to the question “So what do you do?”  Pow!  See… more uses than just a commercial at a networking event.  Now get crafting your effective pitch so you can get “in” to where you need rather than shown the way out.

© 2012 CERTUS Professional Network / Behind The Moon, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Related article: Elements of an Effective 30-Second Introduction


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Sabrina Risley

Sabrina Risley is a master connector. She’s been hosting live networking events since 2004 and has welcomed 20,000+ professionals to those events. She shares her observations, insights and tips of how the top 2% of effective and magnetic networkers build their businesses. She also shares what NOT to do when networking. Get her complimentary e-book: Strategic Networking for Success.
Sabrina Risley

6 thoughts on “Does Your 30-Second Introduction Get You “In” or Show You The Way “Out”?”

  1. Thanks. Sabrina for the great tips on the 30 second commercial. Buzz on the street is 15 seconds is the new 30 seconds. People remember you more when you keep it short and sweet. Over 30 and they forget what you said. Great reminder!!! Liz Wendling

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