Things to know before you go: Why are you going? Are you looking for information? Are you looking for a particular person? What do you hope to accomplish when you get there? Meet one person. Reconnect with someone. Learn something new.
Things to know before you go What’s happening: in the world in your city in your industry with the company/individual?
Things to prep: What to wear Dress for the position you want, not the position you have. The “business casual” conundrum. Ladies: The 3 P’s - Pockets, pants and polyester Gentlemen: Suits or khaki’s, button-downs & don’t forget the shoes Comfort!
Things to prep: What to wear
Things to prep: What to bring Business cards Contact info Signature line Job Fairs: Resumes Pen Notebook Appropriate accessories
Plan to arrive on time This avoids the worry of being late and makes the hosts very happy. Make friends with the hosts Peruse the nametags The 10-second pep talk
Small Talk: Handshakes & hellos Shake hands like a professional Proper grip, eye contact & a smile Introductions at the event: State your name (even if you think they know you – give a point of reference and nickname, if needed). Don’t be afraid to ask someone’s name. Try to use it in a sentence.
Small Talk: Breaking the ice Approach groups or loners. Raise the positive energy in the room. When you get their attention at a Job Fair Thanks for the opportunity. Why you want to work for the company. Why you are uniquely qualified and/or how you can solve one of their problems. Ask a question.
Small Talk: Save the elevator speech Make it more “off the cuff.” Break it up into: Signature line Small talk instigator
Small Talk: Continue the conversation Be positive. Be curious. Be a connector. Be a good listener.
Small Talk: Continue the conversation Have fewer conversations and provide memorable information. Ask for advice (it’s not the same as asking for help). “Can you tell me more about that?”
Small Talk: Moving along Conversation killers & taboo topics Pregnant pauses and parachute lines Business card exchange
Follow up, follow through, and don’t forget to say thank you! Don’t confuse mingling (handshakes & hellos) with networking (building relationships). You need both! Follow up within 1-2 Days. Find out how the person wants you to contact them (email, telephone, assistant?) Handwritten note v. email Don’t forget to thank them for their time, advice and any other help.
Make your small talk “stick” Simplicity Unexpectedness Concreteness Credibility Emotions Stories
Networking library How to Work a Room and/or Secrets of Savvy Networking by Susan RoAne Non-stop Networking, Savvy Networking, and/or Million Dollar Networking by Andrea Nierenberg Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by Harvey Mackay The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine
Thank you! Diane K. Danielson Twitter: @DKDNewMedia New media consultant www.DKDNewMedia.com