Last year I made an appointed with the organisation Cultuur-Ondernemen for consultancy. They offer all starting entrepeneurs in the cultural sector 1 free consultancy and I decided to use that opportunity.
I make use of a lot of free sources; from websites like Thinking Big, PodiumPower.nl, Cultuur-Ondernemen and the book of Roel Grit; to meetings with professionals and coaches. Last week at the Chamber of Commerce I made sure I had my questions ready and I called the 'Belastingtelefoon' a couple of times for my questions about VAT and tax credits. I will attend the open hour at my council in Oost this Friday and I will be working in an office space called ZZPlace where they support starting entrepreneurs. I use every (free) opportunity, including books. For my project plans on knowledge exchange between Malawi-South Africa-the Netherlands and for the exhibition of the visual artist Roger Williams, I will use the book of Verhaar & Eshel on Project Management for Events.
I also attend network meetings. Sometimes they can be boring, but I always try to have at least 2 valuable conversations at those events that I follow up within a week of the meeting. If there is an opportunity to pitch, I always take that chance. That way everybody knows who I am and what I am looking for. I use the so-called 'golden formula' > 1:50 a story about the subject (like you are there now - so a story like it is happening at this particular moment), 10 sec what I want from them and 10 sec what they will get in return. It is qute difficult to tell a story in 1:50 minutes, and then get the message across in 20 seconds, but it works. It works in that way, that it is sweet and short, to the point because nobody likes long presentations.
Giving myself only 2 minutes means I need practice, and even though I am not always motivated to practise, I have to do it. Sometimes on my bike on my way to the network meeting.. but it has to be rehearsed to be able to stay within 2 minutes. Some even recommend a 1-minute pitch - I aim for 2 minutes as they usually offer 3 minutes. So if I stick to my 2-minute formula, I know I always stay inside the standard 3 minutes for an elevator pitch.
I better prepare for my meeting, as it would be silly to arrive there without questions. So I will write my 2 minute presentation now and practice while cycling to my appointment.