How can you effectively network with only a few seconds to make an impact?
Time is a commodity in short supply, and being succinct will get you far in a world where everyone wants to tell their story. So how do you effectively pitch in less time than it takes to order a latte? The social dynamics at work in the ‘connection’ economy can be a minefield.
The next time you find yourself with the opportunity:
1) Be Authentic:
True passion, hustle, and integrity are key pillars behind any successful pitch. You need to tell your story, believe in your idea (if you don’t, why should anyone else?), and show value, all in less than a minute. The only way you’re going to manage that is being genuine, and that’s hard to fake.
2) Show you can execute:
You have an idea, and that’s great, but ideas mean nothing without execution. The ability to prove a track record where you’ve delivered content that solves a problem goes a long way.
3) Forget about your weaknesses:
This is the time to play to your strengths; not pretend to be something you’re not. Trust me, it’ll only bit you in the ass later down the line. When you’re speaking from the real you, people feel it, so if there’s something you suck at, work on fixing it on your own time.
4) Practice, Practice, and Practice some more
Nobody is as good on the fly as they think are. You should have a rock solid ‘presentation’ ready for next time opportunity arises. Make a blueprint, and rehearse it until you have it down cold. Don’t leave it to chance.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca
5) Be Unique:
Figure out something that sets you apart; have something unforgettable, even a little weird so you’re not just another face in the crowd.
6) Know what you want:
Be crystal clear on your intended outcome from any interaction. Everyone should leave knowing exactly what it is you want from the exchange.
7) Create Relationships, not deals:
Your ability to develop meaningful connection is invaluable. Every interaction colors your brand, and in a society where everyone is connected, the integrity of your brand is everything.
I’ll leave you with one last thought to bear in mind:
Confidence has much less to do with what we are capable of, and a lot more to do with being comfortable with what we aren’t, so when you’re pitching, remember to speak slowly, and don’t forget to play from your strengths.