Elements of an Effective 30-Second Introduction

By Sabrina Risley
One of the greatest networking challenges I hear from professionals is knowing what constitutes an effective 30-second introduction.  This is often called a 30-second commercial or elevator speech.  Regardless of its name, when delivered effectively, a powerful 30-second introduction can open windows of opportunity for you and your business.
The goal of the 30-second introduction is simply to catch the attention of contacts, power partners and fellow colleagues when you are asked “what do you do for a living?”  It is not meant to be used to make a sale or close a deal, but rather to give just enough information causing others to become curious and interested in knowing more about what you do.  You want to give just enough information to gain their interest without overwhelming them with the nitty-gritty details of your products/services. When you rattle off too much information, your listeners may become overwhelmed, shut down and you lose out on the opportunity to relate and share on a more personal level.
To ensure your 30-second introduction packs a powerful punch, here are some factors to keep in mind:
  • Everyone gets nervous when delivering their introduction, especially when standing in front of a group.  Take a deep breath and don’t rush through your words.
  • Speak clearly, slowly, intentionally and project your voice through your entire introduction.
  • Use concise and relevant points related to what you do and how you serve others.
  • Make eye contact with each individual and don’t “skim” the room. Making eye contact helps you to connect with each person and give the feeling that you are speaking to an individual rather than a room full of people.
  • Practice before you speak.  Take time to think about what you are going to say, test it out on friends, your coach, or power partners and ask for their feedback.  If you are nervous, it’s okay to read from a notecard.  You can even let people know it’s a new introduction as they will empathize with your vulnerability and honesty.
  • Know your audience and be prepared with a few different introductions. It’s important to be flexible depending upon who you are addressing.
  • Since you only have 30 seconds, highlight one product/service versus sharing details on everything you offer.  Trying to cover too many products/services forces you to be general and vague about each.  Highlight a different product/service the next time you do your introduction, allowing people to learn more about you each time you deliver your introduction.
  • Leave people wanting to know a little more so they are intrigued and want to talk with you further about what you offer. The best thing is to have someone come up after an event and ask questions about what you offer.
  • Mention the target market you are able to or enjoy helping most (ie, realtor enjoys first-time home buyers, interior designer enjoys helping professionals arrange their office space for greatest efficiency).
  • End with a catchy slogan or special you are offering.
  • Above all, be respectful and do not go over any time limits set for your introduction.
(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

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

3 thoughts on “Elements of an Effective 30-Second Introduction”

  1. Thanks for your post about the 30-second elevator speech. As a writer and editor, but also as someone who is has been reticent about self-marketing, I appreciate the concise, direct and useful information.

    Thanks for that and for your newsletter in general.

    See you in Parker… 🙂

  2. Pingback: Does Your 30-Second Introduction Get You “In” or Show You The Way “Out”? « Sabrina Risley

  3. Pingback: CERTUS Professional Network7 Factors in Creating and Delivering an Effective Elevator Pitch

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