How effective is your networking?

I went to an interesting small business networking event last week and it got me thinking.

I was a little late arriving and by the time I got there the 30 or so participants were sitting around a big table, board room style. Each person was given an opportunity to do a pitch about what they did. No time limits!

Most people took the opportunity to speak. Because there were no time limits many people chose to describe all their achievements and everything they could offer. Boring! It was clear that most of the business people present didn’t have a clear objective in their minds for what they wanted to achieve that evening so they just went on, an on, and on…

Everybody, with one exception, sat where they were at the table and said their piece. Some projected their voices better than others. Some were more succinct than others. Two whom I’d met before delivered precisely the same pitch that I’d heard previously. The one that stood out was the Virtual Mechanic who got up and delivered his pitch as he walked round the table. When he’d completed the circuit he sat down. When he sat down we all understood what his business was and what he could do for us. Brilliant! I wish I’d thought of that.

So here are some tips for when you are next networking:

  • Decide on a specific objective, what do you want people to do after this event? What precisely do you want to promote at this event?
  • Be concise and entertaining
  • Show your personality
  • Remember people can only absorb so much information at one time
  • Think what you could do to make yourself stand out
  • As with all marketing remember to answer your audience’s question ‘What’s in it for me?’

Have you seen someone make an outstanding presentation at a networking event? Do you have some tips on things that have worked for you? If you have please share it via the comment button.

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