Make your next networking event pay off with a few simple tips.
Today's topic is how to meet people at networking events.
I went to a really fun get-together of social media folks. They graciously invited me to speak for the first five minutes, and I graciously spoke for ten minutes and eight seconds. But who's counting? You can see the video at http://qik.com/video/68444.
After the talk, one eager person came up, thrust his business card in my hand, smiled, and zipped off. It was beautiful. Like some fabulous ballet routine, with a touch of modern dance, informed with a Twyla Tharp sensibility. And now, days later, I'm staring at his business card fondly. Do I remember him? Yes. Was it good for me? Sure! I'm getting an entire podcast episode out of it. Was it good for him? Nope. The card went straight into the trash after I outlined this episode.
Let's get something straight: before they've met you, no one cares who you are, unless you're rich and famous, in which case you don't care who they are. If you're going to connect, connect. Stop. Talk about a shared interest. If you're at a Social Media Breakfast, you know the shared interest–it's social media! Hallelujah!
I'm about to share my most closely-guarded introvert secret. I'm incredibly shy. At least I've learned to say "Hi!" to someone I haven't met yet. I say, "Hi! We haven't met, yet. My name's Stever." It's amazing how well that works. It's equally amazing that I didn't learn that until I was in my 30s.
Then comes small talk. I love small talk. No, I don't... I hate small talk.