How to do a networking introduction or elevator pitch

January 10, 2017

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How do you do a one minute elevator pitch? How do you create a great networking introduction that doesn’t bore people to tears?

In a recent episode of The Speaking for Profit Podcast,  I answer a listener question about how to introduce yourself at a networking event in a way that’s concise, interesting and memorable.

You can either listen to the whole episode (which also includes a great interview with Mercedez De Castro – a casting director, and performance coach) or simply read the transcript below.

The keys to being concise with your message


Jason: “You have to look at your marketing as an onion. If you’re a coach or consultant or have a service based business there’s probably a lot of layers you can talk about. But when you’re getting up there and introducing yourself. You’ve really got to go big picture and give them only that top layer of the onion.


So the key is stepping back and simplifying what you do.


Now, when I go out to networking events where people are doing formal introductions there are two types of introductions that kind of drive me around the bend. The first one is the overcomplicated, over-written jargon-jingle.


The problem with the jargon jingle is that it’s not conversational. It uses words you’d rarely or never use if you were talking to your mother. Because of this, the jargon-jingle is hard on the ear and on the brain. In fact, it may take you a while to figure out what the person beside you actually said. At a conference someone once came up to me and said:


“I’m a motivational consultant that helps underperforming small businesses deal with dynamic of intra-company teams and transform the dominant culture from sloth and suspicion to one of high engagement and productivity.”



Avoiding the Drunken Sales Flyer

The other type of poor networking introduction is what I call the drunken sales flyer. It’s more conversational and it’s in point form, but it’s all over the map. It’s like the speaker is randomly vomiting out pieces of information about his business. It sounds like this…


“Hi, I’m Rory. I help business with lots of things. Creating systems. Email marketing. Calendars, other computer stuff. Really anything you need doing. I’ve worked with businesses all over the Greater Toronto Area. Toronto, Mississauga, Richmond Hill. Ummm. Brampton I’m generally available from Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm most weekdays. I have my card here, did everyone get my card?”


The problem is that it’s really not giving anything of value to your audience. It’s not intriguing them or giving them any reason to want to hear what you say.


Creating a Great Networking Intro or Elevator Pitch


Now what if, instead, you kept it conversational but you also focused on having a logical structure and giving people a bit of insight and education. What if you thought of your networking intro as a one minute talk.


Not only would you make a positive impact, people would understand better how you could help them. So why don’t I use the same example of the person I used in the drunken sales flyer. Ok. Here goes.


Hi I’m Rory. I’m a virtual business manager

I work with solopreneurs who want to make more money with less time and effort. If you want to free up your time, and make more money in your business you need three things:

Number one. You need to create systems so that you don’t reinvent the wheel every time you do something.

Number two. You need to automate as many of your systems as possible so that you don’t spend your time doing menial tasks

And three. You need to  Delegate your remaining tasks so that you can spend more time making sales.

If you want to know more about how I can save you time and money, please see me at the break.


Sound better?”