Lots of topics arise when people learn I have written a book about becoming a better speaker.
Sometimes I get the reaction, “I don’t deliver speeches and never intend to.” Fine. But serious business people — from Fortune 500 CEOs to start up entrepreneurs — deliver presentations each and every day. Oh, it may not always be a formal presentation. It may be a 30-second self-introduction at a networking function (your elevator speech, to cite that overused phrase).
Both strategy and tactics are important when striving to meet your relationship-building objectives. I’ll deal with strategy down the road. For now, let’s zero in on some techniques that can help raise your networking abilities:
- Arrive on time and stay until the end.
- Craft a 15 second “defining statement” (with thanks to Mark LeBlanc for that term) that tells people how you have helped others and, by extension, how you can help them.
- Don’t hang out with co-workers. Spend time with potential clients and other interesting folks.
- Use a firm handshake and solid eye contact.
- Have a meaningful answer at the ready for the inevitable question, “what’s new?”
Yes, networking is a presentation, too. Don’t ignore the need to prepare and strategize in advance.
What advice have you found useful in these situations where you are attempting to build professional relationships?