My Name Is Liz Strauss
In a few minutes, I’ll be leaving to attend Jeff Pulver’s Chicago Social Media Breakfast. If you haven’t heard, Jeff is going around the US meeting folks from the world of Tech and Blogging. He came to Chicago for this event. Bloggers are gathering to me him and each other. Yeah!
As the host, Jeff has invented a way for his guests who just met to find it easier to talk to each other. Take minute to watch him talk about his “Social Networking Toolkit.”
I’m having a few thoughts about how I might make those two hours successful. Here are my tips for anyone who might be doing the same in the near future.
- Dress comfortably. In clothes that make you feel good about who you are. It’s no fun to meet people feeling like you are really who you are.
- Keep your goal for attending realistic and low stress. I want to meet new people and find out what they do.
- Know that even though the other folks there might be looking at you. They could be thinking about you looking at them. Smile as if we’re all in on the secret. Break the ice for them by making yourself approachable, most will be grateful.
- Have a question ready for that moment when the air seems call for a conversation to start between you and another person. Mine is “What do you do when you’re not doing this?”
- When someone asks a question that leaves you feeling self-conscious or without an answer say so. . . . “I make everyone at these events so important. It throws me a bit. Could you hold on while I recover my ability to think? . . . Often just saying so gets past the feeling and moves me on to the next part of the conversation.
- If you make everyone else the center of the universe, it’s hard to feel self-conscious or under a microscope. Get curious and see how many people you can get to tell you about themselves. Ask broad questions such as how they got where they are, what they wonder, or how they’d rewrite a recent industry event if they could.
I remember a friend who, when she and her husband started a new business, they made a contest to see who might get the most rejections from sales calls. I’ve made a contest for myself. I’m going to see how many folks I might get to talk to me when I go there.
What advice can you add for networking newbies about to attend their first networking breakfast?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!