How to Make the Most of Those First 30 Seconds

Did you just meet the most important person in your career/business? Tongue tied and not sure what to do about it? With advance planning and creative thinking you can be confident you will know how to handle this situation should the opportunity present itself.

We all have had the juncture when we run into someone that we have really wanted to meet. Those who are prepared for the occasion will find themselves a step ahead on the career ladder or at the front of the line for business opportunities. Consider this, we all are bombarded with information; we meet dozens of new people with regularity. Ask yourself who do you remember and why?

Even in 60 seconds you can make an impression. The key is to make that impression a lasting one or one that will trigger instant recognition. How do you do that? Practice, practice, practice.

The most important step is having a pitch and then practicing it over, and over, and over. You need to be comfortable with your words. You are conveying a powerful message and you need to sound sincere and convincing. Above all, you need to look the part (if you find that you smirk at your own words then others will too. If this is the case, no one is going to be sold on why they should remember you.)

Start by boiling down your core message.

Who are you? What do you do? Why do I need to know you? What will make me remember you? Now that you have answered these questions read the results back to yourself. Is your message compelling, memorable, or is it just plain uninteresting and dull?

It's easy to change your message so don't panic. What is it that you do best? What is your strength in your job? Do you make people money? Do you keep your company's X out of the fire? Has you best suggestion been implemented? Have you just invented a new product? The list goes on and on. Utilize words that make people want to ask a question, drive them to ask you to contact them, or compels them to ask for your business card.

Now let's prepare to tell someone what you do best.

Here are some examples:

My name is X. I'm a top-notch accountant. I save my client companies X dollars every year. When I meet your team, I can improve your bottom line. Let me share some examples of my work. When can we meet?

My name is X. My new product invention catapulted my company to #1 in the category. I'm so creative that I can come up with a new invention/product in record time. I would be happy to share some of my creative secrets with your team. When can we meet?

My name is X. My marketing skills are superlative. My nickname is the marketing maven. I can brainstorm with your team with examples on how we can transform your marketing efforts. Who should I speak with?

Notice the action verbs improve, catapulted, brainstorm, and transform. These are words that create an image and leave a lasting impression. Think about words that express a call to action. Words that leave the person you are meeting knowing they want to follow up.

Keep on working at your message toward distilling down the core elements. The simpler your message, the better it will be received.

Be sure and ask for a meeting or the appropriate contact name. Make an effort to get a commitment for follow up. Do not just hand them your business card and smile. Use these tips to solidify your first impression in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Your career might depend on it.

JoAnn Hines' specialty is PACKAGING PEOPLE. Whether you want to be paid more, you just lost your job, or you want to progress in the one you have, Ms. Hines advice and expertise can help you transform your personal brand. She can show you how to package yourself and make your brand a hot commodity. It's easy once you know the ropes and begin to utilize her insider's secrets. She shows you step by step how to increase your visibility, credibility and marketability with easy to use tutorials and templates.

It is time to get started "Packaging Yourself."

Email me the Chief People Packager @

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