It seems that too many entrepreneurs believe their messages are SO important that it’s acceptable to exceed the boundaries of the 60-second informational at networking events and the 10- or 20-minute timeline for presentation opportunities.
For the record, when your time is up, people stop listening. If you have 60 seconds, stop at 50 (or less). Because at 60 seconds, others are more intent on watching the clock than paying attention to the wisdom you’re imparting.
So, if you have 60 seconds to introduce yourself, be sure to include (in any order):
- Your name
- Your business name
- What you do (be specific – and if you do more than one thing, stick to one this time)
- Who you do it for (your ideal client)
- The benefit
- Your “ooh aah” factor (that special “thing” that makes others say “ooh…tell me more”)
There are various ways to get your point across in your introduction, but remember, this is your introduction, not an entire story about you and your business. The goal is to be memorable, and open the door to further conversations one-on-one.
And if you have more time, say ten minutes, pick one or two key points to share. Do not come prepared with a 30-slide presentation. In ten minutes, that would only give you 20 seconds per slide – an impossible feat! The focus would be on the slides – not you. (That’s a good test…if you use PowerPoint, know how much time you have, in the allotted time given to you, for each slide – then cut drastically.)
When using slides, remember to:
- • Keep one thought or idea per slide.
- • Use no more than six lines of text and no more than 6 words per line.
- • Use photos and images in addition – or instead – of words.
- • Use your own remote “clicker” so you know how to advance the slides.
The point of PowerPoint is to enhance your message, not help your audience to read your presentation. And just in case, be prepared to go on with the show if the technology fails.
If you annoy your audience by running beyond the allotted time, repeatedly, you’re putting future speaking opportunities at risk. And speaking can be one of the easiest ways to get your message out and grow your business.