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Stand and Deliver: Presenting Your Best Self on Cue

As entrepreneurs, performing on cue is an occupational hazard. While networking, we all want to make a good and lasting impression as we quickly introduce our business and ourselves to a full house, standing for a super quick 30 seconds. Question is, how to sum it all up and be humorous, passionate and memorable! Instead of juggling the knives of the impossible task of being everything to everyone try to keep the following in mind while crafting your introduction.

Be authentic with clear details. Far too often business owners are so busy trying to be funny or say too much they come across as inauthentic, cold or scattered. Try to find a rhythm that works for you so you are not going over time (which can be seen as disrespectful) or doing it within the required time but speaking so quickly you can’t be heard or understood. Better to say less but punctuate your 30 seconds with meaningful details. You can be humorous but don’t sacrifice your precious time and leave out the items that are going to allow others to connect with and understand you.

Appear approachable. Most entrepreneurs like to talk and they enjoy connecting with others. However, when they are doing their 30 seconds they may be so nervous they come across as self-centered or uncaring. Focus on smiling and breathing. Remember, this 30 seconds is just a handshake. So try to quell those nerves by being prepared, practiced and ready to deliver. This 30 seconds sets up the introduction and allows people to feel that they can enter your space.

Pre-plan and focus on the audience with a needs driven pitch. Know the group you are speaking to and have something prepared for them. The same 30 seconds can get stagnant quickly in delivery and within the same circles. Others may have heard your 30 seconds before and simply tune you out. Change it up often but have the changes planned. Keep people engaged by covering one of the following; a special unknown facet of your business, what makes you passionate about the clients you serve, what is the need that you discovered in your community, what connects you with the majority of the people in the room or how you found your passion.. Make those around you say to themselves “I had no idea they did that” or “Now I have a better understanding of what they do and have the perfect client for them.” Surprise them with new and interesting points so they want to learn more.

Whatever you decide to do, build your 30 seconds with meaningful details that allow someone to have a clear vision of what you do. Remember, it’s the next 30 seconds, once the networking begins, that is far more important. Set yourself up for the successful and rewarding connections that will follow.

Carrie-Ann Nihmey-Smye is the Membership Services Coordinator at the Richmond Hill Board of Trade and a small business owner of a women’s styling business.

Contact her at

T: 905-884-1961 Ext.27


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