Thursday, August 30, 2007

How to Introduce Yourself: Conversation On Networking, part 2

Innovation Philadelphia held a Networking 101 event a few weeks ago that featured Steve Smolinsky and Kay Keenan in a one-hour version of their popular Conversation On Networking seminar. It was a lively talk, with Kay and Steve lobbing volleys at one another, often taking opposing points of view on a topic.

Much of the conversation was on the simple things: when to arrive at meetings, how to place your name tag, how to shake hands, or how to introduce yourself. I say "simple things," but it was clear that the simple things could make a big difference in how effective your are at networking. An example:

How to Introduce Yourself. The conversation was an interactive one, and Steve and Kay forced those giving an answer to stand up, introduce themselves, and then give their answer. As you might imagine, people's introductions quickly became a part of the conversation, both as good and as bad examples. Here are some of the bad examples:

  • No name (it was amazing how many people forgot to say their name in their introduction)
  • Only first name (try looking up "Sarah" in the phone book some time!)
  • No company (in a professional setting, you want your company name to be featured as prominently as your own)
  • No elevator statement (the most effective introductions had a pithy statement that explained their company's "value proposition")
  • No goal statement (why did you come to this meeting, what do you hope to accomplish, and how can people help you?)
  • No repetition (the best introductions were from those who answered several questions and got a chance to repeat their introduction each time – I can still remember some of those people vividly, and you bet that I can recall their introductions)
  • Never got up to speak to the group (alas, I was one of those wallflowers, though I did meet a lot of people individually during the evening)
Networking 101, indeed. It pays to pay attention to the basics.

1 comment:

Oliver Picher said...

Shortly after I posted this, I received an e-mail telling me that Steve and Kay will be conducting another Conversation On Networking mini-seminar on September 20 for the Philadelphia chapter of the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators).

See,M3,8156b39d-537d-47b4-8014-7a4ed7041a4c for details on registration.