Last week’s Networking Know-How blog talked about those mid winter blues that can stop us from getting out and about. If attending a meeting is on your upcoming schedule, here are the top ways to show up and circulate with confidence and ease.
- Nametags belong on the right-hand side of your jacket or shirt. This will help others see your name as you say it. And, do bring your business cards and have them ready if you are asked.
- Start with people you know; just don’t stay with the people you know. You are all there to meet and mingle with others—invest the majority of your time in reaching out and getting to know new people in your field.
- Shut off your cell phone and leave it in your pocket/purse rather than in your hand or on the table; if you must check it, do so away from other attendees.
- Always introduce yourself with your first and last name. Take time with the introductions. When you meet someone new, focus on the name, not the title. When you receive or exchange a card, look at it, repeat key information (pronouncing the name correctly!) and thank the person for it.
- Give the person you’re talking with your full attention. Don’t be guilty of the “Washington handshake”—scanning over their shoulder see who else is in the room.
- Stay standing—once people sit down at events they tend to never get up. When you stand you can circulate freely.
- Set yourself a networking goal: for example, to meet 3 new people and to introduce one of them to another attendee.
- Before the event ends, find a member of the program or executive committee and thank him or her for their efforts putting the event together.