Business Pitching & Networking


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Everyone needs to develop a better network, so what are the main steps in doing so?

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  • March 22nd: Business Workshop – 1pm – 5pm Business Plan Master Class – 1.5 hoursFinance, Marketing, Sales: What do judges look for? Coffee 1.45pm Pitching – 2.5 hoursEach person is provided/selects a business idea and uses this idea to practice the pitching.30 minutes: introduction session90 minutes: 1-1 mentoring on pitching, group work 30 minutes: 4.30pm pitching Practice Coffee: 3.30pm 
  • Its not hanging out
  • SocialEconomicBusiness SupportHidden Job MarketFACT: Most job offers are directly or indirectly a result of networkingFACT: 70-80% of the available jobs are hiddenParallel studies done by Harvard and the US Dept of Labor – the job market can be broken down in 2 categories Formal/published job market Informal/ unpublished job market – “hidden job market” – Jobs that change hands informally within a network of organizations and people or they are created for people who can fill an organizational need roughly 75% 10% ads/10% recruiters/5% other (primarily union)Beat the CompetitionKey is to be informed and known before the position becomes known to the general public. You can potentially avoid the strong competition which comes with the known, announced job market.The hidden job market is made up of unannounced positions which have not yet been publicized: positions budgeted for hire in coming months,I.e. grants, retirements, restructuring or other organizational changesVisibility e.g. Special Projects, Women Leadership Institute, Pres. Emerg. LeadersPersonal Security – Harvey MacKay’s book Dig Your Well before your Thirsty – Quote” Cultivate your relationships before you NEED them”Book by MacKay, in the top 15 best selling self-help books of all time – up there with his other book Swim w/ the Sharks and Dale Carnegie & Norman Vincent PealeFeedback I get from job seekers – “Wish they had kept up their contacts”
  • Time: 10 minutesTalk the Talk:What is the criteria? (A date should have?)What type of questions were asked?What qualities were they looking for?How were these questions phrased to get a positive answer?Walk the Walk:What body language was displayed when asking, answering?What body language was displayed when they got a good answer?Who would you choose to go out with?Who would you choose to do business with?How did the person
  • Time: 5 minutesBusiness CardsWhat do you want them to remember 1 year from now?How do you want them to contact you?How will your business card be at the top of the pile?ClothingNerd vs.. Rock bandJeans vs.. suitEvent ResearchWho is going?Keynote speaker leave after the speech, before they are in the green roomHow many people are there and how many do you want to meetCan you email them before: LinkedIn, Facebook, ..etcMake a planA ... Z Execute the planWhat can you do for nothingEveryone like something for free, so make them get it from you laterOpening Speech
  • Building your networkGood networkers are always on the look out for opportunities to meet and interact with people. The more people you meet, the better your chances of finding the information you need or the leads you want. Even if the person you meet can’t help you, they may know someone who can.Networking eventsBy attending networking events you get the opportunity to meet people in a safe and supportive environment. There are hundreds of networking events that you can attend, some specifically with the aim of making new business contacts and others with a more structured agenda. Events are often organised by Business Links, trade associations, Chambers of Commerce and other business groups.As well as meeting new people, networking events can be a good place to re-establish communication with existing contacts. If you know someone who is going to be there arrange to catch up with them at the event.Trade showsExhibiting at a trade show gives you the opportunity to showcase your products and services to potential customers, suppliers and business partners. And – unlike most networking events - because trade shows are geared towards promoting products and creating leads, there is less need to engage in “small talk” before getting down to business.Even if you are simply attending a trade show (and not exhibiting) you can still make contacts that lead to new business. Make the best of your time by looking through the trade show materials and writing down a list of the exhibitors you wish to visit. Think about what you want to find out, and consider possible ways that you could work together. Focus on getting a small amount of quality leads, rather than a huge stack of business cards that you will probably never do anything with.Creating a contacts listMost salespeople, PR agents and journalists would be lost without their contacts list, but all businesspeople can benefit from creating an up-to-date file of contacts. This could be as simple as storing business cards in an organised manner, but for more effective contact management it is usually a good idea to keep an electronic file of some kind.Microsoft Outlook has a “Contacts” facility, where you can record all relevant details about your contact as well as track any communications, alternatively you could create a simple spreadsheet. If you are on the move a lot you might prefer to use a Palm Pilot or personal organiser to manage your contacts.
  • 20 minutesEveryone should have name badges onNeed Post-it pads for this and pensLast nameTown NameBorn in JuneOwns a Iphone
  • 30 minutesDiscuss you networks and find out who knows someone who knows ... The team network is much larger than the individuals and so asking people if they know anyone is better
  • Online networkingWhile some people might think that the internet is too impersonal to build genuine relationships, this attitude is fast changing as online business communities continue to develop and strengthen. The advantages of using an online networking group is the increased reach you will have – both geographically and in terms of the group’s experience and resources.There are a range of online networking tools, including discussion groups, chat rooms, bulletin boards, email, instant messaging and blogs. Whichever type you use, the key is to remember that you are connecting with people. Also, some websites have emerged purely to support online networking, such as and good rules of thumb for online networking include:Be a source of information. Provide others with links, articles or tools that you have found usefulJoin relevant online communities. Make sure they provide the types of opportunities and interactions that you are looking forCreate an online profile. Look at what other people write to get a feel for the best way to write your bioPace yourself. Avoid joining too many communities at once – as you may not have the time to keep up the momentumBlogs vs. discussion groupsBlogs are basically the online equivalent of networking – they allow people to exchange information, commentary and referrals (web links) by publishing direct to the web (using some easy-to-use software).The main difference between blogs and discussion groups is the level of visibility and the depth of the interaction. Put simply, if you are looking to raise awareness of your business and make as many new business contacts as possible – your time is better spent posting to a highly visible discussion group. However, if you are looking to develop deep, long-term relationships with a few select contacts then blogs might work for you.
  • Twitter: Business StuffFlickr: Personal PhotosLinkedin: Business ProfileYahoo Societies: BusinessFacebook: Personal ProfileSecond Life: Gamer Profile
  • How to PitchTime Allocated: 1 hourLecture Session: 20 minsWorkgroup Session: 40 minsPresentation: Available OnlineWorksheet: Available OnlineThe elevator pitch or How to promote your business in 60 seconds. One of the most important things a businessperson can do, especially an owner is to learn how to speak about their business to others. Being able to sum up unique aspects of your service or product in a way that excites others should be a fundamental skill. Yet many executives pay little attention to the continuing development of ‘the elevator pitch’, the quick, succinct summation of what your company makes or does.Imagine you are in an elevator (that’s a lift to you and me) with a person who can assist your business. You have the time it takes for the elevator to reach its destination to convince this person that you have a viable business proposition. This pitch needs to get their attention.You have 60 seconds (i.e. the length of an elevator ride) to grab their attention and enthuse them to want to know more. In this instance you will be pitching your Bright Idea to the audience.Outlined below are some points to consider when structuring your elevator pitch. The key to success with any public speaking is practice, practice, practice.Brevity - You only have 60 seconds, so think hard about what your key message is and cut out any unnecessary detail.Start off with a one line summary -Start off with a one line summary focused on why your idea is worthwhile, encapsulating your idea’s core purpose. You need to grab your audience’s attention right from the start.What is the need you plan to meet? -Think about what problem you are solving and what need you are filling with your product or service. Demonstrate your unique solution and why you are the person/people to deliver it.Demonstrate you know your market and the threats your venture will face. - Show that you understand the competition and have researched your market thoroughly.Talk in tangibles, avoid jargon. - Be specific, but remember who your audience are and keep your pitch at a level they will understand. Don’t get lost in technical details.What’s in it for the investor? - Remember at this stage you are not pitching the great idea but what your idea will do for investors and customers.Call to action. - What are you hoping to achieve from this pitch? In real life scenarios you are likely to be asking for another meeting, or permission to send further information. You may be asking for funds to develop your idea, product or service further. For the Bright Ideas competition, you need to convince potential mentors and partners. Don’t be shy, ask.Passion - You need fire in your belly to convince your investor to commit. Don’t be cheesy and don’t give too much away.MAIN CONSIDERATIONSKnow your audience – People interested in entrepreneursKnow what they want to hear - – Is this a good opportunity?Know how they want to hear it -– Enthusiasm and passionKnow the format – One minute/ no slidesGet familiar with your surroundingsTIPSYour audience will not remember everything - identify three main points you want to makeKeep it simple, and structure it clearlyAssume no prior knowledgeUse free ‘speech’Learn how to summarise your business in a short space of timeNo b.s. – they’ll catch you out!Humour comes with a health warning!Practice, practice, practiceKey messagesKeep it clear and simpleBe enthusiastic and professionalEnjoy it!Pitch it BiggerTime Allocated: 1 hourLecture Session: 3 minsWorkgroup Session: 60 minsThis session involves students with their mentors selecting the correct pitch and practising the pitch in front of their group. The key aspect in this session is to find the right style for the delegate without making it a scripted speech which they have to follow. Add VarietyRepeated WordsTonePaceVolumeBody Language & GestureVisual AidsControlling nerve through Visualization or focusing on one personThe Big PitchTime Allocated: 90 minsLecture Session: 0 minsWorkgroup Session: 90 minsThe entire student group is brought together with invited external business leaders and they pitch their business to the collected body. The room layout is changed for this session so everyone is sitting around the edge of the room and the person who is pitching is placed in the middle of the room.Each person takes it in turn to pitch their business for one minute. If any person takes more than two minutes they are asked to stop. No judgements or comments are made between each persons pitch. If presenters wants to use visual aids these are pre-populated before the session starts.The session can be closed in one of two ways. The first is that mentors swap groups and then discuss within the group what they liked and why. The other is based on external judges voting for one Business from each of the following:Best PitchBest Business IdeaI would buy one of those
  • Assume short buildings – short and sharpe makes it rememberable Put a tag on it – tag line- we’re loving it Solve a problem Turn adversity into opportunity Lay out the benefits Make it tangible Show your passion Conclude with a call to action Be prepared for questions Take it on the road
  • Each person is provided/selects a business idea and uses this idea to practice the pitching.30 minutes: introduction session90 minutes: 1-1 mentoring on pitching, group work 30 minutes: 4.30pm pitching Practice
  • Maintaining your networkTo get the most out of your network you need to ensure that you dedicate time to “looking after it”. The only way to build meaningful relationships is to establish trust – and the best way to do this is by following through and keeping in touch. This shows that you are dependable, responsive, organised and courteous.Following throughIf you say you are going to do something for someone, then it is essential that you follow through. Here are some useful pointers:Take immediate action following the initial request or meeting. Not only will the recipient be pleasantly surprised at your promptness, you will also ensure that you don't get a back-log of requestsSet up a reminder to yourself to complete the request. You can write the action on the back of a business card, leave a voicemail message for yourself, or send a textUse email if you are passing on some simple piece of information, such as a telephone number or a link to a websiteMake a follow-up telephone call if you wish to discuss something in more detailSend a handwritten note to someone if you are posting them something. Let them know that you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to catching up again soon.Re-establishing contactIf you have been out of touch with someone in your network, then it is often worth trying to re-establish contact with a “legitimate” reason:Email them an article that you think might interest themSend them details about a conference, workshop or event that you think they might like to attendTelephone to say you heard something about them (e.g. they were promoted or their business won an award)Telephone because you thought it would be nice to “touch base” since it's been a while
  • Using your networkThere is no point building up your network if you are not going to use it. You need to be proactive in supporting your network and, in turn, accepting support. Ideally, this will pay off in terms of the referrals you receive and the partnerships you create. However, networking is not about keeping score – don’t expect because you have made 10 referrals that you should receive the same number.Introducing peopleNetworking is like a form of viral marketing – if all the people in your network introduce you to just one other person you have effectively doubled your network. And by introducing people you know to others in your network, you benefit by the goodwill this generates, as well as helping to stay fresh in their minds. Even if people don’t take you up on your offers or referrals, the act of offering is enough.Making requestsDon’t be afraid to make requests of your network. Whether you want information, ideas, encouragement or recommendations – your network is there to support you. And by making a request of your network, you are effectively giving them permission to ask you for something in return. This will help to strengthen your relationships and keep communication channels open.If possible, make your requests fit in with the natural flow of conversation, for example, make it sound like an afterthought “Oh, by the way…”. Also, avoid using the phrase “Do you know anyone…” as it is easy for the person to say “no”. Instead, say something like “Who do you know…” or “What would you recommend…”.When making requests, follow these pointers:Be clear about what you want - there’s no point dropping subtle hints, just ask directlyBe specific – people find it difficult responding to broad or vague requestsBe succinct – only give people the information they needDon’t apologise – make the person know that you appreciate their time, but don’t apologise for taking itBe positive – even if the response is not adequate, it could at least provide a useful starting pointTry again – if you don’t get what you want the first time, ask someone else, or rephrase your request
  • Business Pitching & Networking

    1. 1. @essatweetingT: @eMotivator W: E:
    2. 2. What is this all about? Every time you meet someone you have to make a good impression So you have to pitch yourself Follow Networking Pitch ThroughT: @eMotivator W: E:
    3. 3. T: @eMotivator W: E:
    4. 4. What is networking? • Establishing & maintaining lines of communication with people • About connecting with people in order to: – share information – resources – leads • The emphasis is on relationship building – getting to know people – finding out how you can help them – what they can do for youT: @eMotivator W: E:
    5. 5. Benefits of networking • Effective networkers use their networking skills throughout their life. The main benefits are: – Raising awareness about you – Sharing ideas and solving problems – Building strong relationships and rapport – Developing partnerships, leads and referrals – Becoming more influential in your industry – Increasing efficiency and productivityT: @eMotivator W: E:
    6. 6. My NetworkT: @eMotivator W: E:
    7. 7. The Key Steps • Determine your goal • Decide who to talk to / Know your audience • Figure out what the person knows / WIIFM • Practice the opening speech (pitch) & request(ask) a meeting • Prepare to handle doubters • Prepare to show & have the meeting • Follow-up: Thank-you’s, nurture connections and keep track of contactsT: @eMotivator W: E:
    8. 8. – You know the people you like – You know what you want out of them – You know what you like to do – So lets play . . .T: @eMotivator W: E:
    9. 9. Networking Toolkit • Business Cards • Style and Clothing • Event Research • Make a plan • What can you do for nothing • Opening SpeechT: @eMotivator W: E:
    10. 10. Building your network • Good networkers are always on the look out for opportunities to meet and interact with people. • The more people you meet, the better your chances of finding the information you need or the leads you want. • Even if the person you meet can’t help you, they may know someone who can. • Where? – Networking Events – Trade Shows – OnlineT: @eMotivator W: E:
    11. 11. Online networkingT: @eMotivator W: E:
    12. 12. My Online networkingT: @eMotivator W: E:
    13. 13. T: @eMotivator W: E:
    14. 14. Going Up? The elevator pitch or How to promote your business in 60 secondsT: @eMotivator W: E:
    15. 15. Perfecting the pitch Assume short buildings Put a tag on it Solve a problem Lay out the benefits Make it tangible Show your passion Conclude with a call to action Be prepared for questions Take it on the roadT: @eMotivator W: E:
    16. 16. Questions you must answer: What is my service, product, company or cause? What problem do I solve? Who is my market? Who is my competition? What is my competitive advantage? Why should you care?T: @eMotivator W: E:
    17. 17. Questions you might also answer: • How do I make money? • Who is behind the company?T: @eMotivator W: E:
    18. 18. Your ‘elevator pitch’ must contain: • A ‘hook’ • About 150-225 words What is my service, product, company or cause? What problem do I solve? Who is my market? Who is my competition? What is my competitive advantage? Why should you care? • Passion • A requestT: @eMotivator W: E:
    19. 19. You have 30 minutes . . . • Go off in groups – Develop your pitch and write it down (20 mins) – Pair off and practice with someone else (20 mins) – Practice as a group (20 mins) with 121 mentoringT: @eMotivator W: E:
    20. 20. T: @eMotivator W: E:
    21. 21. Maintaining your network • Following through • Re-establishing contact – This shows that you are dependable, responsive, organised and courteous. • Contact Management – Facebook, LinkedIn, ..etc – OutlookT: @eMotivator W: E:
    22. 22. Using your network • There is no point building up your network if you are not going to use it. • Introducing people • Making requestsT: @eMotivator W: E:
    23. 23. And finally . . . • Be prepared to deliver: any time, any where • Start with contacts that are safe to build confidence • Not a quick fix to your next sale – make it part of your life/work to build relationships • Use thought, sensitivity and preparationT: @eMotivator W: E:
    24. 24. T: @eMotivator W: E: