One of the more interesting options that have developed from our busy lives is the speed date. While you can spend all night digging through online personals site ratings for the perfect place to find the perfect person, occasionally stepping out to interact with other singles can be good practice if nothing else. Speed dating often gets billed as that thing you get suckered into doing because your friends are tired of putting up with your single life. The truth, however, is that it’s actually a very valuable way to learn how to make a good impression and gets you back into the swing of things if you haven’t been dating for a while. A little human interaction can do you a lot of good. So consider signing up and take a look at some pointers before you leave.

Practice Your Elevator Pitch

This may seem familiar if you have looked for a job in the past few years since this is the same thing any decent career counselor would have told you from day one. In case you need a refresher, however; the elevator pitch is a short blurb about yourself that you can give during an average elevator ride that is your best chance of making someone consider hiring you. Speed dating is pretty much the same idea. You have a limited time with each person and in that time frame, you have to give them as much valuable information as possible to make them interested in following up with you after the fact. In both cases, you are essentially selling yourself. Because of this, you need to whittle down the information you need to dispense to also include the stuff you want a potential date to know.

The best place to start putting together your pitch is what you put in your dating profile after comparing online personals site ratings. In theory, you put a bit of time and effort into drawing someone in through your profile and it amounts to more than just your name, age, and general location. Including things like hobbies that are really important to you and if you have pets, for example, might be additions to make for speed dating. Relevant information that shares a little about yourself while also giving her everything she needs to know in a concise delivery is what we are after.

For a lot of women, this time is less about your likes and dislikes and more about how you present yourself. Choose words and phrases that make everything you say sound the best that it possibly can. Refer to word sheets for resumes that tell you how to take an active voice in everything you recount so she doesn’t get bored listening to it. Throw something in there about what you want to do or places you want to go in the future so she knows you are looking ahead.

Make sure you practice the pitch you devise. Time yourself. You don’t want the initial pitch to be any longer than a minute at most. In your speed dates especially it’s useful to save as much time as possible for questions between the two of you after you’ve both said your piece. This way you can immediately move to whatever may have caught your attention from what she said, or ask about something she didn’t address. Remember to be as clear and practiced as possible. In the case of speed dating, it’s okay to bring notes, although we wouldn’t recommend it for a normal date. Just make sure you hit all of your points and that you have a general idea of the speed you give them at so you don’t go over the time she needs to do the same.

Know What Questions to Ask

When you make it past the initial introductions, a lot of people drop into awkward silence and don’t know how to continue. This is where it’s beneficial to have note cards so you can remember what you really wanted to ask her instead of having a mental flail and awkwardly asking about the weather. Just remember this isn’t; don’t expect to get into sexual positions and fetishes in the first discussion. In fact, if you don’t want to expect a return trip to the website with the high online personals site rating that made you want to try it in the first place, you may want to consider skipping anything to do with sex at all. Remember, she’s there for a potential date, not a hookup. If you want that, just stick with

In terms of what you do want to know, take a minute in between practicing your pitch and figuring out what to wear to write down some things that are really important to you. It might be your pet dog, your nephew, or even a particular sport that is just so ingrained in your life you couldn’t imagine living without it. Once you have completed the list, see if there is any way to trim it down or get even more specific in the categories. For example, it might not be a particular sport but a particular team that has some significance for you. Or perhaps she just has to be okay with having pet birds. Whatever the case, try to keep it to five things you absolutely need to have answered, knowing that anything after that probably has a low chance of being answered, but include it just in case.

Having a list of needed information before you go in helps eliminate down time between questions and lets you make the most out of your speed date. It also helps you remain focused on getting her answers instead of just talking about yourself the whole time. When faced with awkward silence, most people are inclined to talk inanely about something they know. In the case of speed dating this often defaults to you and what you’re looking for. By having a list at the ready you can engage her and prompt her to talk a bit more, which will leave a more positive view in her mind because she wasn’t forced to just listen to you the whole time.

Keep it Short, Sweet, and to the Point

However you do it, just be sure to keep it short and sweet. Complimenting her is always an acceptable call to make, but only with brevity. Speed dating is a little different from normal dates in that regard, since it is less about giving her a good time and trying to be entertaining. More so its focus remains on the receiving and giving of information in the most compact way possible. The entire point is to mimic the same sort of information we put out in online profiles and chats after the fact, but in person and with the chance to leave more of an impression. That is, if we play our cards right. So remember that she is probably coming to the table just as nervous and geared up as you with just as much to share and just much to learn. Keep your answers short and to the point so you can get more from her as well.