First Step to Networking: PREPARE

Luck is where preparation meets opportunity

You’re not going to get the most from your networking opportunities unless you prepare. To me, there are just three basic things to do before your networking event:

  1. Do your homework.
    • Find out who will be at the event who you have something to offer, and from whom you believe you can gain something.
  2. Set specific goals related to those people. What information do you want to gain? What impression do you want to make? How can you make yourself memorable? What information, support or advice can you offer? What is your end game – that is, at the end of the event, how will you know it’s been a productive one for you?
  3. Know your ELEVATOR speeches. These are the ever-popular synopses of who you are and what you do intended to grab interest of your audience quickly and compellingly. I recommend creating 60-second and 15-second versions (the shorter one is also known as the “handshake” speech).

Elevator Speech

Example:

90% of executives say interpersonal communication is a critical business skills, but 85% of employees say their bosses don’t communicate well with them. I provide communication coaching and training for business leaders.  One CEO remarked that after working with me, her approval rating among direct reports improved by 55%!

Other examples?  Would love to hear!

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About Jaya Koilpillai Bohlmann
Global corporate communication, business, and organization behavior executive; author. My blog, DesigningCommunication, offers inspiration, insight, and tips for all professionals who want to express themselves effectively, and lead with integrity.

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