Delphi, the automotive parts supplier, recently hosted a matchmaking event in El Paso. They brought together about 200 women- and minority-owned businesses (for the 22nd time, in fact!) from parts manufacturers to promotional products companies to staffing agencies to communications consultants attended. We were all eager to meet new people and expand our networks, so it only makes sense that my two major takeaways involved the power of a good introduction.
1. The Power of PowerPoint
Delphi has lots of information to share with potential vendors and PowerPoint is a great tool to do that – as long as the slides show the right amount of information.
One of Delphi’s newest leaders showed a slide with a collection of numbers to facilitate audience interaction. He introduced each number and shared what it meant for him personally. When he asked, “What do you think the number 10 represents?” someone did ask him if it was his shoe size, however it was the number of cities he had lived in thus far. Six stood for the number of industries in which he had worked, and so on.
Instead of reading off his resume, he did a great job engaging the audience and sharing information about himself, while limiting the amount of copy on the slides so the audience doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
2, The Power of a Well-Rehearsed Elevator Speech
When someone asks you what you do (and they invariably will), you must be prepared to respond. Not only do you need good information quickly, but you must present it in a way that shows them how you add value to an organization and continues the conversation.
Mary: “John, where do you work?”
John: “I’m a regional sales manager.”
Mary: “Oh really. For whom?”
John: “XYZ Inc.”
While this is exaggerated, it illustrates that the person with whom you are speaking should not have to pull information out of you. They are allowing you a platform to showcase who you are and what you do, so take it!
Mary: “John, where do you work?”
John: “I’m a sales manager for XYZ Inc. We manufacture and sell coffee mugs to restaurants nationwide and I lead a team that focuses on restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico.”
Now you’ve given Mary the opportunity to ask a number of questions, like “Does XYZ plan to expand to other products?,” “What’s your favorite restaurant you’ve visited?” or “That’s a large territory! How many sales associates do you have?”
You never know where you might find your next client, referral or friend. Starting with a well-rehearsed elevator speech conveys confidence, skill and likeability.
Whether it’s a formal introduction with PowerPoint as a visual aid or a casual meet-and-greet, use these tactics for your continued success.
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