Steps to a great 60 second self-introduction speech

August 31, 2016 by

self-introduction speech to a group - reduced shutterstock_370498442
Many Chambers of Commerce and other business associations around the country have groups which help other members market products and/or services.  The most common name I've seen for these is "Lead Groups".  They are basically networking groups intended to generate leads for the members.

The meetings of these groups are often informal and generally last about an hour, during which time the people attending have an opportunity to give a brief presentation about their business.

Several types of these presentations exist, each with a specific intent.  They may be called:
- a Center of Attention/Focus/Spotlight
- an Elevator pitch
- a Self-introduction/Icebreaker

Each of these is basically a different type of speech.

Many people don't feel comfortable giving a speech - maybe because they don't know how.  They feel it's another stressor in life they don't need.

But it's part of the game you have to play as a business owner or manager or marketing person trying to network, develop relationships, and market yourself or your company.

Think of these speeches as opportunities - not as something to be feared - to tell people how great you are or your business is.

Here, I'll concentrate on the content for a one-minute (60-second) self-introduction.  This may actually range from 45 to 60 seconds, depending on the size of the group and its rules.  I may cover something on the other types in later blogs.

Essentially this self-introduction speech is to inform the audience about you and your business.  How else would you expect to let someone know what you do - or what your company does?

But it's also a sales pitch.

I'll present some guidelines or suggestions here to help you present the best image you can in these speeches.  Maybe reading this and thinking about your business will help you put something together to get your message across.

Take the following sequence of steps as an initial suggestion.

1) give a greeting to the group (a simple "Hi" will do)
2) state your name ("I'm ...")
3) state your business name, your position/relationship with the business. and what you or your business do
4) do one (and only one) of these - briefly: (If you present to the same group on multiple occasions, you can vary from one time to another.  Variety helps.)
(And when I say briefly, I mean briefly.  Some people think a minute is a long time when you're standing up in front of a group, but it's not.  You only have 60 seconds.  People will be turned off if you ramble on and on.)
   A - tell an interesting story - what you have done or something that has happened related to your business
   B - give a testimonial from one of your customers who provided a glowing report due to the product or service you provided
   C - tell what differentiates you from others in the same type of business
   D - quote someone on a topic you can relate to your business
   E - ask a leading/interesting question.  This may throw a little variety and arouse more interest or curiosity to make you more memorable
      - try to make it related to your business
      - have the answer backed up by a link or other reference.
5) spout a slogan/tag line/other - something for people to easily remember you by
6) state your name and company name again
7) ask if you can help anyone or if anyone in the group knows someone who needs your help
- to meet with you after the meeting
8) if time permits and if acceptable at that meeting, offer your business card

That's a lot of things to cover in one minute.  Like I said, it's not a lot of time.

Now that you have a sequence and the material, you need to practice - both for timing and to get your rhythm down - before you present to the group.

Some final thoughts here.
1 - Humor can be a great attention grabber and memory maker, but you have to be careful.  Not everyone's reaction to intended humor is the same.
2 - You probably don't have time to use any graphics unless they are immediately obvious
3 - Don't be negative.  Keep your speech positive.
4 - Each business can be different, and sometimes variations of the above might be advisable.
5 - Take a deep breath before beginning to speak.  It'll help you relax.

I can't provide a list of approaches for every business, but some thoughts for different types of businesses to make you stand out:
- HVAC - better materials, more experience, more efficient units, longer guarantee - and why ...
- financial - charge lower rates to manage funds, provide better return,  more personal service
- food - better quality, more organic/natural, unique types, less expensive
- insurance - more/better coverage for same or less,  more personal service
- computer supplies and/or services - lower prices, more personal service
- manufacturing - how your product can be used by members of the group

Remember, you know your company and maybe your competition better than anyone else in the room.

Now GO FOR IT.  The more you do it, the better you'll get.
You'll form and maintain relationships with a group of people who can help you.

If I can help you, let me know.  

Leave a Comment