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story

Does your business understand the power of a story?

story

It’s a Sunday afternoon and rain is lashing against your window. Inside your warm, cosy home, you’re curled up on the sofa. You’re lost in a story, a book that you simply cannot put down.

Or, you may be watching an amazing film which is so gripping that you just can’t pause it and put the kettle on.

Yesterday, a Danny Boyle film about a singer/songwriter who becomes one of a handful of people in the world who can remember the Beatles, connects with us because we understand his story of struggle and persistence, we all have the shared experience of knowing and loving the Beatles songs in the film, and we share a gasp-out-loud moment with the main character. (No spoilers here for those who haven’t seen it!)

Many of us went to the cinema and felt the hour and 57 minutes it took to screen it flew by.

We were totally engaged with the film.

You’re experiencing a story as if you’re inside it.

The best stories are those which resonate with our experience.

We identify with characters who persevere against the odds, with situations we’ve experienced ourselves, and with the hopes and dreams we share with those characters.

We react with empathy and look for connections.

The Harry Potter books and films have created generations of fans because of that emotional connection they feel to the main characters such as Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and Hagrid.

They feel righteous anger when Hermione is tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange, fear for their heroes when they enter the Ministry of Magic in disguise, and they root for Harry in his battle with Voldemort.

We become lost in a magical world.

Have you ever listened to someone’s story intently and been captivated by it?

As you stand there in front of the storyteller, your brains are synching.

Neuroscientists have researched this phenomenon. They carried out MRIs on listener and storyteller and found their brains lit up in the same way.

Your brain is reacting as if you are experiencing that story yourself and you feel connected.

Think how often the best stand-up comedians such as Sarah Millican, Stewart Lee, Dave Allen, and Joan Rivers have used stories as the basis for their comedy.

Stories have power.

The empathy stories create helps businesses reach potential clients or customers.

It also helps clients along their decision-making process.

Most people don’t just buy using logic and data. They use emotions to make that purchasing decision, so it’s important to create an emotional connection.

How can I use stories to connect with my customers?

  1. Use your website’s About Us page – Telling your story as a business helps clients connect with your purpose. People often need to know why you do what you do before they will commit to spending money. Tell them about your story, your values, and your goals. Replicate it for print products such as brochures or flyers.
  2. Share case studies – How did you help a customer through a difficult situation? How did you ensure a successful outcome? What challenges did you face?
  3. Share reviews or testimonials – These can often act as mini-stories to show how you solved a client’s problem. They are most powerful when the people leaving reviews are willing to be identified and when reviews are left on independent sites.
  4. Your networking pitch – Use stories to connect with potential clients or collaborators in your networking pitches, from the usual 60-second pitch to the longer five or ten-minute presentation.
  5. Your business book – If you tell your story in your business book, your readers will connect with your insights.
  6. Get your employees on board – Make them the purveyors of your story, the best advocates and story-tellers you could have. Listen to Anita Roddick, the late, great founder of The Body Shop: “The lesson of preindustrial societies is storytelling. All our employees should be storytellers.”

Do you need help telling your story? Contact us for advice and support.

blog post

How do I find ideas for my next blog post?

 

blog post

You want to write a blog post but that cursor just keeps blinking on a blank screen…

Every idea you had an hour ago seems to have evaporated…We know the feeling!

You’re in a blog post panic and you don’t know where to turn.

Fear not! We have nine useful ideas for getting that all-important inspiration – and we’re sharing them with you.

Where can I get ideas for my blog post?

  1. Ask Dr Google….

Google’s auto-complete is a hugely useful way of finding the questions people are asking the search engine.

Why not start a question relevant to your sector and let Google complete it?

Then, you have a blog post title which is already being searched for, and an idea for subject matter which is relevant to the people you’d like to attract to your website.

  1. Catch up with the news

Read news websites and watch TV news and current affairs programmes for inspiration.

That will give you timely ideas for your posts.

For example, a law firm could look at the use of ‘gagging clauses’ in non-disclosure orders, a hot topic in the wake of the Me Too movement. A cyber security business could look at the use of gated forums and invitation-only online groups by cyber thieves.

  1. Use case studies

What are the problems your ideal clients face and how do you solve them?

How could you show that in a blog post?

The obvious way is to simply say it. They way in which you connect with your clients best is to SHOW it by telling the stories of your case studies.

That allows them to see first-hand what you can do for people like them or businesses like theirs.

  1. Do a little snooping…

What are your competitors talking about?

Compile a list of those subjects and approach them in your own way. Use those subjects a few months down the line.

Whatever you do, don’t simply copy the ideas and structure of your competitors’ blog posts.

Not only will it look obvious, it could land you with a costly copyright infringement.

  1. Use an online blog topic generator

Here are eight suggestions for generators to use. You type in a word relevant to your business and it comes up with ideas for you. Flesh those ideas out yourself and expand on them.

  1. Look at what’s trending on social media

You can use online tools such as Buzzsumo, or do your own research on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

If you sign up for our monthly updates (no spam, we hate it!), you’ll get our free guide to the best 7 online social listening tools. Sign up here.

  1. Draw up a content calendar

Using seasons, holidays, awareness days, and major cultural and sporting events can help you get inspired.

If you run a restaurant, how about 7 of our meals to show your dad some love this Father’s Day?

Or, What’s the best way to fill up before watching the Rugby World Cup?

  1. Ask your clients

Ask them what they’d like to see on your blog. You can do this in an email, on social media, or by creating an online poll.

  1. Call in a professional

We would say that, wouldn’t we? However, it’s a great way to get your blog fizzing with creativity and outsourcing your content creation is a great option to save you time along with getting two heads, rather than one!

Need more advice? You can get in touch here. We love talking content, writing, coffee, and vintage typewriters!

 

bake

GP’s business bakes up special help for people in chronic pain

bake

A class at the School of Breads

The long drive home after a French skiing holiday was the inspiration for GP Rachael Watson to change her life – and set up a school teaching people to bake bread.

Having worked as a GP in surgeries since 2001, including practices in Abergavenny, Eywas Harold, and Blaenavon, and now in Ebbw Vale, Rachael became inspired by the couple she met in the bed and breakfast where she and her husband stayed.

They had given up hectic lives as a singer and singing teacher in Paris to follow their dream and buy and run the B&B.

Bake

Rachael Watson (left) teaching a student

“I thought how happy they were because they had made that decision and I knew I wanted to do something as well as being a GP,” Rachael, who lives in Abergavenny, said.

She and her husband joked about opening a health spa.

Then, she said: “I thought how wonderful it would be to teach people how to bake bread.

“I had 830 miles on the drive home to think it through. I thought about what I would need to do to run it from home – organise the kitchen, for example.

“Then, I took a course in Cardiff.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

How the School of Breads was born

Rachael held her first class on October 9, 2015, and the word soon spread on Facebook and among local groups in Abergavenny to make her artisan bread baking school a success.

People who visited the town for the food festival began booking in for classes at the Abergavenny Baker School of Artisan Breads, including visitors from as far afield as Australia.

She has now taught hundreds of people the art of making breads from around the world, from sourdough to ciabatta or focaccia.

Rachael shares her knowledge of the chemistry of breadmaking, tips on kneading, shaping, and baking fresh bread.

Her students can choose from classes in the popular Italian breads, Middle Eastern, Continental, and Great British breads. There are also seasonal classes baking breads for Christmas and Easter.

Teaching people with chronic pain to bake bread

bake

Now, the GP is combining her medical background with classes aimed at helping people in chronic pain.

She said: “The aim is to help people talk about managing their pain in a far more relaxed way than at a GP surgery. There, the doctor will have only 10 minutes for an appointment.

“The process of making bread is something which helps people take in information. It is something physical and there are smells of the ingredients and the breads which are associated with the information. It also takes place on a non-threatening environment.

“There is a primeval safety message about making and sharing food which helps our nervous system to relax.

“I use my knowledge and experience to explain the nerve pathways and risk factors for developing chronic pain. I also explain the skills and practices people can use to feel less pain and enjoy life more.”

The sessions will help people with conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.

The first open session for people living with chronic pain is on May 24. Read more about the baking school here.

Find out more about us.

BusinessAwards

Ajuda Training wins the top prize in the Zokit Business Awards

Training company Ajuda is the Zokit Business of the Year 2019.

Founder Dawn Evans picked up the independently-judged award at a packed gala lunch at the Zokit Springconf yesterday.

Her business is based in Cardiff Bay and was established after mum Dawn saved the life of her daughter who was choking on a sweet.

She used the first aid training she had learned as a lifeguard and later leisure centre manager. She chose the name Ajuda using the Portuguese word for ‘help’ and began her business as a first aid training company.

Now, the multi-award-winning business offers a wide range of training – from first aid and train-the-trainer sessions to health and safety, fire safety, and business courses. The company also has a large portfolio of online training courses.

It is also a provider of groundbreaking mental health first aid training.

It was also a great afternoon for Wendy Hobbs of the Dreams & Wishes charity, who won the awards for Inspiring Leader, Breakthrough Brand, and Online Influence.

Who won our awards?

Zokit awards

The HR Department Cardiff with their award

Words You Can Use sponsored the Judges’ Picks categories where there were three winners – Purple Shoots Business Lending; the HR Department Cardiff; The Kitchen Bureau.

The Zokit Sprinconf at Cardiff City Stadium, which was attended by hundreds of delegates, also featured an expo and break-out talks.

There were sessions with Paralympic gold medallist Mark Colbourne and former Wales rugby international Alix Popham, the founder of Hub XV. There were networking sessions for Forces veterans and property specialists.

Here is the full list of winners:

Zokit Business of the Year
Sponsored by A&R Group

Ajuda
All finalists are entered into this category

Business Evolution
Sponsored by Mitchell Meredith

Jessica Draws Media Ltd

Customer Focus
Sponsored by Insight6

Tech-Wales 

Breakthrough Brand
Sponsored by Marketing without the BS

Dreams and Wishes

Innovation
Sponsored by Forte Web Solutions

Ripple Living

Startup Spark
Sponsored by Assurance Accountancy

Proactive First Aid Solutions

Inspiring Leader
Sponsored by Leading Confidently

Wendy Hobbs – Dreams and Wishes Charity

Young Entrepreneur
Sponsored by Ajuda

Katie Hughes – Sure Safety Consultancy 

Environmental Excellence
Sponsored by Penarth Management

Archer & Brooks Ltd

Business Author
Sponsored by Wordcatcher Publishing

Starrd Solutions Ltd

Engaging Speaker
Sponsored by Maverick Communication

Joy Ogeh-Hutfield – Joy Transformation
Marina Hauer – Apricity Studio – Business Speaker

Lifetime Achievement
Sponsored by Robertsons Solicitors

Nadine Honeybone

Personal Development
Sponsored by Dr Bridget

Campanile Hotel Cardiff 

Wellness at Work
Sponsored by Workwell Therapy

Effective HRM

Winning Legacy
Sponsored by Cobalt HR

For previous winners who have levelled up again…

The Autism Directory

Judges’ Picks
Sponsored by Words You Can Use

The Kitchen Bureau – HIGH IMPACT WINNER
Purple Shoots Business Lending – BUSINESS ENABLER WINNER
HR Dept Cardiff – JUDGES’ SELECTION WINNER

Online Influence
Sponsored by Red Squirrel Marketing

Dreams & Wishes

Property Development
Sponsored by GPS Financial

Castle Gallois Properties 

Business Awards

TV presenter to host the Zokit Business Awards

Business Awards

TV presenter Ruth Wignall

ITV Wales presenter Ruth Wignall will be presenting the Zokit Business Awards this week at the organisation’s Springconf.

The weather presenter and presenter of ITV’s Coast & Country is also an ambassador for Cancer Research Wales, this year’s charity partner.

There will also be Q&A sessions with Wales rugby international star turned entrepreneur, Alix Popham, and inspirational speaker and Paralympic cycling champion, Mark Colbourne MBE

Springconf will take place on Thursday (May 16) at Cardiff City Stadium. There is a packed programme of business talks and networking sessions. They include specialist sessions for business people in property and Forces veterans in business.

There will be expo stands featuring businesses from across South Wales.

Free tickets to network with businesses, meet exhibitors and attend business development talks and Google Garage workshops can be booked here :https://zokit.co.uk/springconf

Anyone who would like to contribute by making a raffle prize donation to help raise funds for the charity is aksed to email karen@zokit.co.uk

Zokit is a community of business owners which stretches across South Wales, from Swansea to Chepstow.

It has more than 300 members and associate members in a range of sectors, including health and wellbeing and business services to digital marketing and training.

Zokit stages South Wales-wide events such as the Zokit BizFest Expo in October and Beaujolais Day networking in November.

It also hosts local networking sessions in Cardiff, Bridgend, and the Vale of Glamorgan, and provides training and development services to businesses of all sizes.

The Business Awards Finalists

Finalists in the Zokit Business Awards include HR businesses, cleaning companies, charities, financial services businesses, business support companies, and a brewery.

Business Evolution

Sponsored by Mitchell Meredith

 

Castle Gallois Properties

DKnine Fitness

CWL Media

Maid to Help Cleaning Specialists

Amber Energy

The Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust

HR Dept

Jessica Draws Media Ltd (Abergavenny)

Beton Bauen (Caerphilly)

Wasser Work

Challenge Wales (Penarth)

 

Customer Focus

Sponsored by Insight6

 

HRDept

CWL Media

Penguin Wealth

Maid to Help Cleaning Specialists (Hengoed)

Tech-Wales ltd

Team Metalogic (Caerphilly)

Cwtchy House

Save Money With Us

Charles Derby Financial Services Ltd

 

Breakthrough Brand

Sponsored by Marketing without the BS

 

Traffic Jam Media

Crafty Devil Brewing Company (Penarth)

Dreams and Wishes Charity (Newport)

Treen Coward Associates

Treefrog Design (Newport)

Maverick Communication

Tropic By Rosie

Skyhawk Global (Barry)

 

Innovation

Sponosored by Forte Web Solutions

 

Cloves Dental Care

Hub XV (established by Newport and Wales rugby star Alix Popham)

Family Crosspoint Ltd

Insurgo Media Services (Abertillery)

Ripple Living

Castle Gallois Properties

 

Startup Spark

Sponsored by Assurance Accountancy

 

Unpretentious Café (Haverfordwest)

The Kitchen Bureau

Castle Gallois Properties

Proactive First Aid Solutions Ltd

Twale Cuisine

Adventure Digital Ltd (Newport)

LCVA Services (Penarth)

Starrd Solutions Ltd

 

Inspiring Leader

Sponsored by Leading Confidently

 

Angela Hughes – The Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust

Wendy Hobbs – Dreams and Wishes Charity (Newport)

Joy Ogeh-Hutfield – Joy Transformation

 

Young Entrepreneur

Sponsored by Ajuda

 

Abz Tahar                   Assurance Accountancy Ltd

Peter Marezana          Unpretentious Café (Haverfordwest)

Samantha Howells      Maid to Help Cleaning Specialists (Hengoed)

Cara Moss                  Maid to Help Cleaning Specialists (Hengoed)

Alix Charles                 Alix Digital

Katie Hughes              Sure Safety Consultancy

Trystan Davies            Proactive First Aid Solutions Ltd

Jon Wright                   Adventure Digital Ltd

Neil Challenger           Challenger Design

 

Environmental Excellence

Sponsored by Penarth Management

 

Ripple Living

Archer & Brooks Ltd (Ebbw Vale)

Insurgo Media Services (Abertillery)

Skyhawk Global (Barry)

Challenge Wales (Penarth)

UMT Upcycling & MobilityTraining (Caerphilly)

 

Business Author

Sponsored by Wordcatcher Publishing

 

Gravit-e

Morgan Online Marketing

Up Write

Starrd Solutions Ltd

 

Engaging Speaker

Sponsored by Maverick Communication

 

Alix Charles – Alix Digital

Marina Hauer – Apricity Studio (Newport)

David Davies – The Core Asset

Joy Ogeh-Hutfield – Joy Transformation

 

Lifetime Achievement

Sponsored by Robertsons Solicitors

  • This will be announced on the day

 

Personal Development

Sponsored by Dr Bridget

 

Campanile Hotel Cardiff

Challenge Wales (Penarth)

Joy Transformation

 

Wellness at Work

Sponsored by Workwell Therapy

 

Effective HRM

Cloves Dental Care

DKnine Fitness

 

Winning Legacy

Sponsored by Cobalt HR

 

The Autism Directory

Effective HRM

Office Om

Ajuda

Purple Shoots Business Lending

 

All the finalists will be entered into a Business of the Year category. They will also be considered for the Judges’ Picks Notable Business awards which are sponsored by us, Words You Can Use.

More about the event can be found at Zokit.co.uk/springconf, by phoning 02921 111 232, or emailing hello@zokit.co.uk.

 

Purple Shoots

How microfinance charity Purple Shoots is creating businesses – and transforming deprived areas

Purple Shoots

Katie Davies of Cwmbran who set up Pretty Little Paws, a dog grooming salon, with a loan from Purple Shoots

Entrepreneurs helped by innovative microfinance charity Purple Shoots told politicians and business leaders the lending is transforming lives in deprived areas of Wales.

The charity, which is now more than five years old, was showcasing its work to Assembly Members at the Senedd in Cardiff in the May 1 event entitled Does Poverty Mean Exclusion?

Ethical lender Purple Shoots, which is based in Pontypridd, helps people on benefits or a low income to start their own businesses. It lends to people who are excluded by traditional lenders such as banks.

Since 2013, Purple Shoots loaned more than £1.2 million to people across Wales to create businesses and transform communities.

Founder Karen Davies said too many entrepreneurial people were trapped by a benefits system which drains them of all funds before they can claim benefit. That includes funds to establish a new business.

Many people from deprived areas also found a “Got nothing? Get nothing…” attitude from traditional sources of business funding.

People who claim benefits are stigmatised despite recent research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation blowing apart stereotypes like the idea benefit claimants have lots of children.

“In fact, the study found that just 8% of benefit claimants have more than two children,” Karen said.

Instead of looking at stereotypes, Purple Shoots understands people within communities know better than anyone else how to transform their economies.

Jane Hutt, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, praised the work of Purple Shoots. She pledged to look at how the Assembly could support the charity.

What Purple Shoots borrowers say…

One business which began with Purple Shoots’ help was Tiff’s Cleaning Angels, a Cardiff-based business established by Tiffany Bramley.

At the event yesterday, she said: “After the death of my daughter five years ago, I needed time to grieve. But, it meant that I forgot to pay a few bills and it affected my credit rating.

She wanted to rebuild the business but the bank highlighted her credit history.

She said: “I met Karen and she became my angel.”

Tiffany creates strong relationships with her vulnerable clients. She offers them cleaning and general household tasks.

“The aim is to be a domestic angel, helping to give people respite if they have elderly parents, for example,” she said.

Experienced dementia nurse Dr Jane Mullins also attended the event to outline how Purple Shoots has helped her.

She had dealt with financial struggle after family illness and her own ill health, yet knew she wanted to start a business to transform her family’s lives and help educate people about dementia.

She attempted to get funding to start a training programme to teach people to care for those with the condition but found no funding available from several official sources.

Jane talked to Purple Shoots and the charity gave her a loan to establish Duet Care.

“It’s named after dignity, understanding, and empathy training (DUET). We train family members, in particular, on how to support people with it,” she said.

She was also able to complete her PhD, and wrote and self-published her book, Finding the Light in Dementia.

Purple Shoots

Purple Shoots gives the Welsh economy a £12 million boost 

Purple Shoots estimates the impact of their lending has seen a benefit of around £12 million to the Welsh economy over the past five and a half years.

The businesses it has helped create include a café, a cake maker, a dog grooming parlour, a kayak angling business, a training programme for families whose loved ones have dementia, a stonemason, a pottery, an embroiderer, and a jeweller.

The average loan size is £2,700 and 70% go to the bottom 50% of deprived areas in Wales.

Other statistics since 2013 include:

  • More than 370 new businesses started
  • More than 460 loans granted
  • 96% of borrowers were on benefits when they were given a loan
  • Around 400 people have been able to get off benefits

Purple Shoots also helps like-minded people to set up self-reliant groups in their area. They look at ways of creating income for their members and often lead to the establishment of community businesses.

The charity’s success has sparked interest in Scotland. It is in talks about how to create a similar initiative there and Purple Shoots has established self-reliant groups in the west of England.

Purple Shoots is looking for more corporate donors and sponsors to help more people to get out of poverty.

Its Purple Spoon Club encourages people to give regular donations to the charity. Find out more here.

Would you like to become a Purple Shoots donor or find out more? Please call Karen Davies on 07726 599267. You can discover more about Purple Shoots here

Read more about unusual businesses.

workshops for business leaders in Cardiff

Join us at our workshops for business leaders on April 17

workshops in Cardiff

Everyone who writes has an audience in mind – whether that’s journalists, bloggers, novelists, poets, or business leaders.

So, when it comes to creating the content you need for your website, social media, or print products such as brochures, you need a clear picture of who you’re speaking to, what they care about, what their problems are, and how you solve them.

That’s why we’re hosting workshops for business leaders on April 17 to help you define your ideal clients and come up with a strategy to communicate with them.

This isn’t about prettying up your content, it’s about making it useful and helping you to get more customers.

As the best-selling author and marketer Andrew Davis says: “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

And, as the content marketer David Beebe adds: “Content marketing is like a first date. If you only talk about yourself, there won’t be a second one.”

There are just five people in each of our three-hour workshops in Cardiff. So, you’ll get plenty of help and the practical tools you need to really connect with your clients. The prices start at £47.

You can book a place here.

We hope to see you there!

Do you have a content marketing subject you’d like to see us tackle in a workshop? Please feel free to leave a comment below or to contact us on maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

 

 

small business

Want a Star Wars wedding? Former registrar’s business will help you celebrate

small business

Fancy a Star Wars wedding? You’ll need the right celebrant…

Would you like a hand-fasting, a zombie-themed wedding, or a non-religious funeral?

Then you need a celebrant who will help make your day reflect your personality.

Former registrar Jane Grayer set up her small business Create Ceremonies because of the desire to give people the individual ceremonies they need.

Monmouthshire-based Jane, 52, carries out weddings and commitment ceremonies, funerals, and naming and family ceremonies.

Recently, she created a special ceremony to mark the adoption of a child.

“It was a lovely day,” says the former stage manager and charity worker.

“I haven’t heard of anyone else creating ceremonies like that for when adoption becomes legal and the process in the courts has ended.

“The ceremony marked a welcoming of the child into the family.”

Supportive adults, a non-religious version of god-parents, were chosen. They help and support a child throughout their life.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my four years as a registrar, but registrars are bound by the law. They can only carry out a ceremony in a permanent structure with walls and a roof,” Jane says.

“I can offer ceremonies outdoors, or in places which haven’t been licensed for marriage such as a number of castles in Wales.

“The couple would have to legally have a Register Office ceremony too, but some people like to have their own ceremonies afterwards in places which are special to them. They can write their own vows, and make their commitment in their own way.”

Non-traditional ceremonies can also create special roles for people such as step-parents and step-siblings.

People feel increasingly confident to ask for something different for their family ceremonies, Jane says. Her clients come from all faiths and no faith.

Some of the commitment ceremonies she offers are perfect for those who want to show their commitment without having a legal marriage. They include hand-fasting and broom jumping.

What’s behind the business?

business

Jane Grayer

Jane is a member of the UK Society of Celebrants. She gets to know her clients and their personalities and offers them a bespoke and personalised service.

More people are asking for non-religious funerals so Jane works with the families to create ceremonies which reflect the life of the person they have lost.

She also creates non-religious baby naming ceremonies for parents who prefer to welcome their child into their family without a traditional christening ceremony.

Jane, who lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Monmouthshire, carries out ceremonies across South Wales.

To find out more about Jane’s work, go to www.createceremonies.co.uk. Or you can call 07733 201158.

Do you have an unusual business you’d like us to feature on this blog? Email maria@wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

60 second

Is it time for your 60 second make-over?

60 second

Get ready for your 60 second presentation…

Some people love them and some people hate them. Those 60 second slots to introduce ourselves at networking sessions are business Marmite.

However you feel about them, they can be important when it comes to making the right impression on would-be customers.

Do well, and you might make a lasting business-client relationship, but do badly, and you pass up a chance to impress.

Here are our top 5 tips to ensure you communicate well and make the right impression:

1. Say who you are and what you do.
You’d be amazed how many people forget this. It’s worth saying it up front and reminding people quickly at the end.

2. Talk about what you can do for potential customers.
So many people talk about themselves and list their products. Would-be customers want to know how you can help them – sell the benefits.

3. Create a way to be remembered.
Taking something visual along is a good tip. Will you be the bloke with the hi-vis vest or the woman with the hula hoop? You’ll stand out from the crowd. Creating a verbal hook for the end of your speech is also a good technique – something which plays on words in your industry always goes down well.

4. Write it down.
Don’t write down the whole 60-second speech, write bullet points. It’s useful to have something to pull you back into the flow if you feel yourself getting lost, but not something that makes you read aloud instead of interacting with the room.

5. React to things around you.
Think about the audience, the location, or if something funny has just happened. Don’t be afraid to work a little of that in at the last minute – it’ll make your 60 seconds seem fresh.

Don’t worry if giving that 60 seconds feels daunting as most of us felt like that until we became used to doing it.

We certainly did!
Practise makes perfect. So even if you have a few stumbles on the first few occasions you speak, you will improve.
Remember, there’s always someone new at these events who won’t have seen your 60 seconds before.
You can make a great first impression on them, and change the way the rest of the group sees you, too.

It’s time for your 60-second make-over!