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Red or Blue Wire: You have 30 seconds

Networking: the most important word in your vocabulary (okay, maybe not the most…but definitely a close second to your grandma’s first name). Whether you are attending a business dinner representing your company; attending a career fair to find potential employers; or trying speed dating (yikes!) for the first time—pitch, pitch, pitch. Make an impression. With the right delivery, your elevator pitch could bring a new client, friend, or love interest your way.

The elevator pitch: a mini sales pitch less than a minute long intended on drawing your selected audience in hook, line and sinker. Know exactly who you are talking to and start with your hook—capture their interest and do not be afraid to alter this part based on your audience. Keep their interest by knowing each point you want to get across all while having passion for what you are talking about (or at least be really good at pretending you do). Finish it off by some sort of request—ask for their business card, ask to set up a future meeting, or ask to take them out on a hot date (disclaimer: this only applies to social situations, I would NOT recommend this strategy for potential clients).

I have come to believe that word-of-mouth communication is one of the easiest, cheapest and all-around most logical (not to mention oldest) ways to market yourself and your business. What better way to spread the most positive aspects of your business than to tell people yourself. You know your business better than anyone so get out there, attend as many events as possible, and always prepare to pitch. You never know who you are going to strike up a conversation with at the local Starbucks, in line at the grocery store, or the next time you step into an elevator.