Overcoming The 60 Seconds Of Fear
What about the other 7,140 seconds then?
Posted by Jacky Sherman on 16/08/2023 @ 8:00AM
I was talking to a new client recently who admitted that having to stand up and present for 60 seconds filled her with dread. It meant she avoided networking events where this was expected ...
A networking event is normally 7,200 seconds long, so why are you focussing all of your fears on just 60 seconds of it?
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Whether you're a seasoned presenter or a complete novice filled with fear, let' s look at this networking 'chore' another way. The average networking meeting lasts 2 hours - that's 7,200 seconds - and your presentation lasts for 60 seconds. That's less than one percent of the whole time!
I'm sorry, but you are not the centre of the Universe for the other people in the room. Everyone in the room is having a 60 second slot. The reality is that everyone's attention will have moved on rapidly whether you're brilliant or you fluff it completely.
"You know you are not going to sell your products or services to anyone in just 60 seconds!"
You are more likely to be remembered for the one-to-one conversations you have with other attendees. So take the pressure off yourself. Focus on the other 7,140 seconds of the meeting and just use that last 60 seconds to support the rest.
So now let's look at how to do just that. Why are you there in the first place? Let's assume you are there to generate business, ok? Every blog post, article and book on networking will tell you not to sell to the room, but to build relationships with people so that they refer you to other people who want to buy what you sell.
So, you spend your time with people you know, you help the new people, you ensure you're understood, you build credibility and then you identify the people in the room who you can help and, of course, can help you.
Write a 60 seconds that just supports that! Yes I did say write; you want to spend your time in the meeting fully engaged with the other people not worrying about your 60 seconds support act. So prepare and have it written down, time it and rehearse it.
Please, please, please don't wing it! If you're like me and tend to waffle, then there is nothing wrong with having your notes there to keep you on track. Once it's written and by your placemat, you can focus on getting to know people.
"Be seen and remembered. Say your name and company name very clearly at the beginning and end!"
And keep it simple as you want to be understood. Use short words and short sentences to say what you do. You do not have to be clever or a comedian, or even a motivational speaker.
Personally, "I help people get more - a lot more - business from their network of contacts." You are only telling people what you have already said over coffee. And for those who didn't get to talk to you beforehand, it may get them to want to have a coffee with you afterwards to learn more about you.
You need to build your credibility. Tell a short story about something you did for a real client. Stories get remembered more than you trying to give a list of everything you can offer at breakneck speed. It is also something you know very well and likely to be something you are really proud of, which makes telling it much easier.
Back in 2014 I wrote, "One of my clients is Roger Eddowes, an accountant. Like most accountants, he spent January sorting out his clients' tax returns. Yet using my referral marketing methods, his contacts referred him 14 new clients in that time!"
Tell everyone who you want to meet. For the people who you already know, this is just a reminder. If you have any sense, you will already have explained to them in a one-to-one meeting who your ideal client is. For new people, you will attract others towards you who know these types of people.
Here's a great example of an opening line to help you with this part: "So who do you know who is an accountant and would like 14 new clients every month?" It certainly works for me!
Listen to what others want as well. The best way to identify people who can refer you is to listen to who they want to meet. If they have a similar client base to you then you are likely to be able to refer each other.
"Now you will know who in the room you want to spend more time getting to know. It will take more than 60 seconds!"
So the tips this week are twofold: Firstly, focus on the whole 7,200 seconds of your networking meeting and secondly, keep your 60 seconds slot simple and remember that it is just the support act!
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07970 638857. Let's have an initial chat over a coffee and see how I can help you.
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