If you find yourself somewhat at a loss when it comes to small talk or conversing at networking events, borrow a lesson from professional speakers. They prepare their speeches, research their audiences and practice in advance so that every presentation is interesting, compelling and helps them fulfill their mission and grow their businesses.
How does a professional speaker develop a speech? They have three basic parts that they work on in a prepared presentation: structure, content and delivery. Think about these questions before your next business to business networking event and you’ll never be at a loss for what to say (and how to say it). Here are three sets of networking tips based on this presentation format. Next time you are wondering how to network, start with this basic set up and have answers ready to these questions.
- Structure: How do you want to present your information? Do you have a compelling self-introduction? Do you have a prepared question for asking to follow-up? Do you start with your job description? Or do you want to talk about family and more personal items? Do you have a prepared introduction or description (so that you don’t fumble when asked)? Do you have an interesting or engaging answer to the (sometimes repetitive) questions you get asked?
- Content: What do you tell them about you? How much detail about your job, family and interests do you want to reveal? Are you familiar with the news or issues of the day? Do you have some standard questions that you always ask? What do you say or talk about if the conversation flags?
- Delivery: How do you present yourself? Do you know whether you’re coming across as interested or bored? Energetic or lethargic? Smiling or serious? Do you rush through your personal introduction because you’ve heard it a thousand times (it’s the first time for them)? What is your body language saying? Does your clothing and manner reflect your profession and position?
Take these networking tips to plan ahead for your…