Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

If you are going to be an effective networker, you must. . .

Develop a good self-introduction!

I call this very important self-introduction a “30 second connection!” Some call it a soundbite or an elevator speech. It must be taken seriously. It is often the first words people hear from you. Practice, drill and rehearse it.

Your “30 second connection” must be like a brain tatto; a mental imprint that turns blah-blah into rah-rah! It’s your “verbal business card.” Don’t ramble. Remember: Less is more! Keep it brief and to-the-point. Know what you are going to say. It should tell, sell and be compelling. It must emotionally engage your listener in a way that truly gets their attention.

Here are a few common mistakes networkers make: 1. Giving waaaay to much information. You should not be aiming to give your company’s life story – nobody cares, and they care even less after sitting through 15 other 30 second connections. 2. Just talking about the features of your product or service, rather than the benefits, is a sure-fire way to lose your audience’s attention. 3. You demonstrate a still, small voice. You are you too quiet, too monotone, or too fast in your speech. Speak up so everyone in the room can hear you. 4. You have a deadly dull pitch. Brighten your 30 seconds up with humor, a prop, a picture or an interesting statistic.

After you’ve been introduced, people should know precisely who you are and what you do. It shouldn’t be longer than 30 seconds and it can be shorter.

It is important for you to be able to introduce yourself quickly without stumbling over your words. This is why I said you must practice, drill and rehearse. My friend and networking expert, Anne Boe once said, “Clarity is power!” Connections that begin with clarity can become long-lasting because they stand out; they will be remembered.

When you clearly communicate who you are, and what you do, people are in a much better position to assist you in your networking efforts. They are more likely to remember you when the opportunity for them to help you shows up.

Grant G. Gard says, “If it’s fuzzy in the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pew!” Learning to speak clearly teaches us to say good-bye to confusion. Crystal clear communication allows us to make the connections that enable ideas to flourish and positive actions to occur.

There are four important elements to an effective “30 second connection.”

1. Your name.
2. The name of your business.
3. Specifically what you do and how it can help others!
4. What kind of business leads you are looking for.

“Briefer is better. Keep is short and sweet. Begin with a positive, focused opening of 4 to 6 seconds; follow up with a core message of 15 to 18 seconds, stating how you can help your listener (this is not about you), and close concisely in 4 to 6 seconds as you mention how those listening can connect with you.” ~ Fred R. Doidge, author of “Public Speaking Is Fun!

You need to have the fourth element of a “30 second connection” ready for the right occasion. There are some groups, such as networking groups, where it is totally appropriate for you to tell people what kind of business leads you are looking for. As a matter of fact, it is expected!

Most networking groups offer an opportunity for you to give your “30 second connection” and solicit business leads. There are other places where it is less appropriate. Use your good judgement. Always be looking for the opportunity to tell people what you do when you show up! No time to be shy when you are networking.

Here is an example of a “30 second connection:

Hi, my name is Larry James with CelebrateLove.com. I present “Networking Seminars” & “Relationship Enrichment LoveShops” for solo singles, singles with partners and married love partners both nationally and internationally. I have authored three books on relationships and one on business networking. I offer personal relationship and business networking coaching for high functioning singles and married couples; people who are committed to “doing” whatever it takes to make their relationships work better.

A good business lead for me is anyone who is in a position to make a decision about hiring a relationship coach or a speaker for a seminar, workshop, keynote address, convention or association meeting. (Hint! Hint!) 😉 Larry James with CelebrateLove.com.

Be prepared! Commit your “30 second connection” to memory. Adjust the words (ad-lib) for various occasions but always be prepared.

There’s no one way to give a 30 second connection. Don’t get caught up in what you think a 30 second connection should sound like. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. If you give the same commercial week-in and week-out, you’re training your fellow members to forget you.

“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill (on how to give a good speech)

What does your product or service do for your customers? Figuring out the most relevant answer to this question is key to creating an effective 30 second connection. If you have time and an opportunity to do so, consider ending your 30 second connection with a solution to a problem that you may have helped others fix.

I attended a networking meeting recently where we were all given a change to talk briefly about our business and the kind of business leads we would appreciate. One member got up and very cleverly recited her 30 second connection through poetry. Very effective and different. She received a round of applause.

I often begin my 30 second connection by saying, “Hi everyone, my name is Larry James, the guy with two first names!” and I pause briefly before continuing. Usually people laugh. AND. . . they remember my name. It also helps “brand” my name. A recent search on Google.com for “Larry James” had me listed 4 times out of the top 10 listings.

BONUS Article: The Best Elevator (Anti-) Pitch

Here is my friend, Vickie Sullivan’s take on “Elevator Speeches!”

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Larry James offers Networking coaching. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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49 Comments »

  1. […] describes what you do. At smaller events you will often be asked to introduce yourself and a 30-second connection would be more […]

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  2. […] when in your networking group and giving your elevator speech (I call it a 30-second connection) will not get much results unless yours is creative and exciting enough to move people to connect […]

    Pingback by A Networking RANT! | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  3. […] describes what you do. At smaller events you will often be asked to introduce yourself and a 30-second connection would be more […]

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  4. […] Articles: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars Quiet […]

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  5. […] Articles: What do you do? How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” What to Talk About at the […]

    Pingback by “What do you do?” ~ Switch it Up! | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Sunday, September 7, 2014 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  6. […] while I’m on a roll… the purpose of the “30-second connection” (often called your elevator speech) at the beginning of the meeting is to help you to learn […]

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  7. […] BONUS Articles: Stop Selling, Start Connecting Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

    Pingback by Be Authentic When Giving Your 30 Second Connection | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, July 17, 2014 @ 11:14 pm | Reply

  8. […] to tell others what you do in a creative way helps. The “elevator pitch or speech” (I call it a 30-second connection), is especially good when you are at a networking “meeting” (not a large event) and are […]

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  9. […] BONUS Articles: No One Ever Bought Anything on an Elevator!! What’s YOUR Story? Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

    Pingback by Stop Selling, Start Connecting | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Monday, May 26, 2014 @ 7:46 am | Reply

  10. […] Articles: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” What to Talk About at the […]

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  11. […] business referrals or if their group has become only a place to meet once a week, do their “30-second connection” (so they get to plug your business, hoping someone will buy their product or service), and […]

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  12. […] your 30 Second connection. Make it (and you) sparkle! It’s okay to be an attention getter if you do it with […]

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  13. […] BONUS Articles: No One Ever Bought Anything in an Elevator! Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

    Pingback by Network in Elevators! | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, September 12, 2013 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  14. […] of hands, or any of that “elevator speech” stuff. I prefer calling it a branding statement or 30-second connection. It’s important, however this is not the time for […]

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  15. […] BONUS Article: We All Need to Dig a Little Deeper… How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars 6 Things Every Small Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn… How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

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  16. I pay a visit each day to a few information sites to read posts, and this blog gives feature based articles.

    Comment by Flooring in Fairfax — Tuesday, April 9, 2013 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

  17. […] BONUS Articles: 6 Things Every Small Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn… How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

    Pingback by How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Wednesday, March 20, 2013 @ 7:32 am | Reply

  18. […] or event. It’s better to give your “elevator pitch” or as I call it, “your 30-second connection” without making it sound like an elevator pitch. Practice saying it different ways so it […]

    Pingback by Enrich Your Networking Pitch | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, February 28, 2013 @ 7:33 am | Reply

  19. […] just showing up each week at a meeting and listening to everyone give their “30-second connection” – sometimes called an elevator speech – is not networking. That’s just […]

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  20. […] There are four important elements to an effective “30 second connection.” […]

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  21. […] perfect the way they talk about their business. Your elevator pitch or – what I call a “30-Second Connection” – is one thing but taking time to make sure that what you say will cause people to […]

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  22. […] yourself but be careful not to bore people with a 30-second connection when informally meeting someone. Your so-called “elevator speech” or 30-second connection is […]

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  23. […] BONUS Articles: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

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  24. […] There are four important elements to an effective “30 second connection.” […]

    Pingback by Give Praise to Others in Your Network « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  25. […] many groups have meetings, everyone gets a time to do their elevator speech (I call this a 30-second connection), each week a specific member gets 5 or ten minutes to talk about their business, they exchange […]

    Pingback by Don’t Push! – Pull « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Wednesday, October 3, 2012 @ 7:06 am | Reply

  26. […] you need 30 second spiel for introducing yourself when you’re networking and how to create yours, from Networking HQ Blog with Larry James. […]

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  27. […] Resuscitate your “30-Second Connection.” Make it active, vigorous and a real game changer. Redesign it to better define your brand. […]

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  28. […] it with, ‘Blah,’ don’t say ‘Blah, blah!’” Your posture, your self-introduction, your handshake, starting a conversation and exchanging business cards all make an impression and […]

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  29. […] Article: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” Shy, eh? Get Over It! At a Networking Event, BE the […]

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  30. […] part before you decide to leave a group. Make sure that the message you give every week during your 30-second connection is succinct, to the point, and benefits-oriented. Be sure you drop the “what is in it for […]

    Pingback by Evaluate Your Business Networking Group « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Saturday, January 21, 2012 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  31. […] BONUS Articles: Elevator Speech – Your Branding Statement No One REALLY Cares What You Do! Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

    Pingback by No One Ever Bought Anything in an Elevator! « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Tuesday, December 20, 2011 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  32. […] same thing. The important part of this is to learn to effectively communicate this with your “30-second connection.” Make sure your hype is the […]

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  33. […] yourself but be careful not to bore people with a 30-second connection when informally meeting someone. Your so-called “elevator speech” or 30-second […]

    Pingback by Mind Your Networking Manners « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Wednesday, July 27, 2011 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  34. […] attended a business networking meeting recently and when it was my time to tell those present my “30 second” connection, I began by saying, “Hi, everyone. My name is Larry James, the guy with two first […]

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  35. […] almost decided on the spot not to come. With a few helpful tips, I helped her construct her “30-second connection” and she eventually she became more comfortable speaking about her business and letting […]

    Pingback by Networking USA » Don’t Be a Wallflower! — Wednesday, March 16, 2011 @ 2:40 am | Reply

  36. […] others in your network know exactly the kind of business leads you need. Create an effective “30-Second connection.” But, before you ask for business, create a relationship! Establish rapport. Networking is […]

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  37. […] The nerves are no reason not to attend events however. People don’t have the same trepidation about going out socially and meeting friends of their friends. They don’t put on an act, plan their conversation in advance or exchange elevator pitches. […]

    Pingback by Now That’s What I “Don’t” Call Networking! « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Wednesday, December 29, 2010 @ 7:29 am | Reply

  38. […] care about the answer. All they want if a change to talk about themselves and give you their “30-second connection.” Most conversations at large networking events are like two TVs facing one another. Talking […]

    Pingback by Get Out of Your Own Way « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, December 9, 2010 @ 7:22 am | Reply

  39. […] will have a special time for members to offer a 30-second connection. Larger groups my have one member give a brief 10-minute presentation plus a speaker. Do your best […]

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  40. […] what you do and how you might be able to help them. Polish your “elevator speech” – your 30-second connection – a summary of what you do-in clear, compelling words that attract attention, pique […]

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  41. […] When asked “what do you do?” present your proposition confidently & consistently – your target market, the problems you solve and your stories. People do not buy what you do, they buy into why you do it. It’s your passion and enthusiasm that engages and not a clever 30-second connection. […]

    Pingback by Is Your Networking Not-Working for You? « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, August 19, 2010 @ 7:47 am | Reply

  42. […] almost decided on the spot not to come. With a few helpful tips, I helped her construct her “30-second connection” and she eventually she became more comfortable speaking about her business and letting […]

    Pingback by Don’t Be a Wallflower! « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Tuesday, January 5, 2010 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  43. […] of the smaller networking groups hold structured breakfast or lunch meetings where you can give a 30 second connection to describe the product or service you offer. This prevents that “tongue-tied” moment […]

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  44. […] connectors are always ready with a “30-second connection” (or less) ; sometimes called an “elevator speech.” Read, “Sam Horn’s […]

    Pingback by Be a Networking Power Connector! « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Tuesday, December 15, 2009 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  45. […] describes what you do. At smaller events you will often be asked to introduce yourself and a 30-second connection would be more […]

    Pingback by Networking Events are a Waste of Time. . . « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, December 3, 2009 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  46. […] Bonus Resource: “Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?” […]

    Pingback by Sam Horn’s Take on Elevator Speeches! « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Wednesday, November 25, 2009 @ 8:22 am | Reply

  47. […] others in your network know exactly the kind of business leads you need. Create an effective “30-Second connection.” But, before you ask for business, create a relationship! Establish rapport. Networking is […]

    Pingback by Ask For What You Want! « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Monday, October 5, 2009 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  48. […] networking salt conversations with tidbits about yourself and your business but always end your self-introduction with a question directed to the person you are talking to. They will get excited about their own […]

    Pingback by At a Networking Event, BE the Host! « Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Thursday, September 3, 2009 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

  49. Larry,I love your stuff, aways clear and to the point. Your example of a “30 second connection” is great, I know that if most business took this to heart they would do better.

    Comment by Jeff Herrmann — Tuesday, August 18, 2009 @ 6:27 am | Reply


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