Updated: Sep 4, 2021

The following is an article based on a talk that I gave at a charity networking event on 4th Aug

2021. The event was organised by Lesley Jones, a Business Mentor, and Consultant based in the

UK. The event was a great success with lots of UK-based business owners and entrepreneurs

attending the event and donating to The Nightingale, a cancer support charity based in Enfield (UK). We raised nearly £300 for The Nightingale and I am grateful and honoured to be a part of such a powerful cause.

I often say that Networking is just like dating.

I want you to think about the last time you were absolutely madly in love. Maybe it was when you were very young, but you still remember what it was like. The euphoria. The butterflies.

Maybe it was that strange someone you met accidentally or maybe it was that sexy someone who got away. And I wonder if there are still times when you look back and think about them, quietly, maybe when you are feeling alone inside.

The 2 things that made them unforgettable are exactly the 2 TurboChargers that I am going to share with you today to help you be absolutely unforgettable in all your networking adventures.

The 2 things that made your crush absolutely unforgettable are:

· What they said to you

· The feeling they left you with

The key element that I want to highlight here is that, essentially, they left you wanting more…

That constant maddening hunger to be with them was overwhelming and those heightened emotions are what made them unforgettable.

Let’s talk about the 1st TurboCharger:

Vanessa Van Edwards is a Behavioural Researcher at Science of People and she is the author bestselling book ‘Captivate – The Science of Succeeding with People’.

Vanessa has an interesting hobby. Every day at lunchtime she likes to watch a TED talk. One day as she sat down with her, what I am guessing was a salad and her iPad, she typed Leadership in the search bar. Up popped 2 TED talks: 1 by Simon Sinek who probably most you are familiar with and another by Fields Wicker-Miurin.

Here’s the most interesting thing…one of them had over 45 million views and the other only had under 40,000 views, but both TED talks had almost the same tile, both were almost 18 minutes long, both were given by relatively unknown experts in the beginning and they both came out the same month of the same year, Sept 2009. Can you guess who delivered which TED Talk?

Simon Sinek’s TED talk had 45 million views and Fields Wicker-Miurin’s TED talk had only 40,000 views. When Vanessa saw this, she was very curious to analyse why Simon’s TED talk went viral.

So, Vanessa and her team decided to analyse thousands of hours of TED talks from 2010 to see if there were any patterns that they could find to view count. Their findings were very interesting, but the most important one that I want to focus on is that we decide whether someone is unforgettable or not almost instantly, within the first 7 seconds. We decide whether we like someone, or we trust someone, or where we are going to buy from them within the first 7 seconds. Therefore, what we say in the first 7 seconds is absolutely critical.

What I am referring to here is the Elevator Pitch!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a networking event to talk to a group of professionals who serve the trades, like accountants, lawyers, coaches, etc. It was a small group and after I delivered a short presentation, we had a quick discussion and right towards the end when everyone was saying ‘Goodbye’ and signing off, I got a private message from one of the ladies and she asked me if I can talk to her after the call. I quickly finished off talking to the host and then spoke to (let's call her Tina).

Now, let me tell you a little bit about Tina. Tina was an Image Consultant who helps busy professionals to transform their image on and off-screen to make a great first impression. Tina told me that she has been doing a lot of networking and going to networking events regularly, but she has didn’t get many clients. She told me that she really liked what I shared during my presentation and she asked me to share some networking strategies to get more clients. The first thing I asked her was to give me her intro and elevator pitch as if I was a potential client. I wanted to hear what her potential clients heard when she was speaking to them. She did a great job of describing what she did, however, it required more than 5 sentences, and at the end, I didn’t feel excited and it didn’t make me curious to find out more.

I believe that your title and your elevator pitch need to do more than just introduce yourself and tell the other person what you do. I believe that your title and your elevator pitch need to be unique, engage the other person emotionally, and pique their curiosity so that they are excited and keen to find out more about you and your work, instead of you talking at them to try and get them interested.

I helped Tina refine her title and elevator pitch so it was something close to, “I am an Image Confidence Coach and I help busy professionals to gain the confidence they need to absolutely crush it in their life and in their business.” I then tasked Tina with sharing her new title and elevator pitch every chance she got. 2 days later I got an email from Tina informing me that she has a booking call with someone whom she had met previously, but didn’t click at the time, after she used her new elevator pitch. Such is the power of a strong elevator pitch.

However, having a killer elevator pitch is not enough, how you deliver it also matters. I would highly encourage you to practice so you sound confident and natural, rather than sounding like you are reading it from a brochure or sounding robotic.

This is because what Vanessa and her team found was that vocal variety and vocal energy in your elevator pitch are absolutely critical. Our vocal energy helps other people decide whether what you are saying is good to bad and get excited about it. So say your elevator pitch every time as if it’s your first time.

Let’s talk about the 2nd TurboCharger:

What is the feeling that you want to leave them with?

After you have left, what feelings do they associate with you?

Here I am going to share a story with you. It’s called “The Prime Minister and The Princess”

In 1874 Benjamin Disraeli became the Prime Minister and he was quite an unlikely candidate because he was from a Jewish background, had a darker skin tone and he was dandy. After he became Prime Minister, he very quickly won everyone over. During a special event, all the important dignitaries were in attendance, including an English Princess. Everyone mingled together and spent time getting to know each other and the English Princess met everyone present there over the course of the evening. Afterwards, the Princess shared that whilst talking to others at the event she felt like they were the most important person in England, but after talking with Prime Minister Disraeli she felt like she was the most important person in England!

So how did Prime Minister Disraeli made himself unforgettable and made the Princess feel so special?

What did he do to take control of the feeling that he left others with?

I believe that the answer is 3-fold:

1. He was more interested in other people than he was trying to be interesting himself. Instead of talking about himself, Prime Minister Disraeli was interested in learning about others. His goal was to get other people to talk about themselves. Then he listened carefully, showed interest in what they were saying, and then gave them compliments.

2. He was curious. He wanted to dig deeper and understand what made people tick. He asked people questions about themselves and then he followed up with further probing questions. He also tried to find common ground with people to instantly build rapport and increase his likability.

3. He was genuine and authentic. He did not fake it. He didn’t have an agenda that he was trying to achieve. He was not working towards some sly ulterior motive. In my book, I quote a study from the University of New South Wales about intuition. In the study, researchers found that we have a highly evolved sense of intuition that helps us determine when someone is being fake or is working to achieve some selfish personal agenda. They also found that our sense of intuition only improves with exposure and experience.

These, I believe, were the keys that allowed Prime Minister Disraeli to take control of the feeling that he left others with by making them feel special and important. The 3 points mentioned above are also 3 of the 7 Golden Rules of Networking that I discuss in TurboCharged Networking.

TurboCharged Takeaways

What we say in the first 7 seconds is absolutely critical because it's during that time that other people decide whether we are unforgettable. It doesn’t matter if we think that we have a great elevator pitch or a great introduction, it’s what other people think.

Your elevator pitch needs to achieve 3 things:

1. be unique

2. engage the other person emotionally

3. pique their curiosity

Focus on the feeling that you want to leave others with. Ask yourself, what feeling do I want others to associate with me?

The 3 ways you can take control of the feeling are:

1. Be more interested than trying to be interesting yourself

2. Be Curious

3. Be Genuine and Authentic


Here is what Lesley Jones, organiser of the event, had to say:

“Tallal was the guest speaker at my recent Charity Network Event for SMEs, where he shared his knowledge & experience of the benefits of building strong relationships through networking.

He showed us how to incorporate the three key elements for building human connection into our elevator pitch: Care, Value and Service; and offered some great advice and insight into how we should introduce ourselves and our businesses at networking events.

His energy and enthusiasm for building authentic relationships are infectious and I am very much looking forward to reading his book.”

Lesley Jones, Business Mentor




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