Andrew Hennigan is a Lecturer, Speaker Coach and Writer. He is interested in speaking, writing, social media, networking, influencing, reputation, intercultural, innovation and other topics. He is also a freelance journalist, writer for hire and author of the book Payforward Networking. Copyright Andrew Hennigan 2007-2018.
How to Network Effectively at Face-to-Face Meetups
Face-to-face meetups are much more effective than online activity for discovering and creating a bond with other people. But it's not enough just to attend and hope for the best. To get the best results takes some effort and a little planning.
There are many different ways you can make every meeting fruitful and even fun, but to get you started here are five secrets that are going to make a difference:
1. GET INVOLVED SOMEHOW. Just attending an event is better than staying at home, but the people who get the best results are the people who are actively involved in the event, helping the organizers or participating in some way. This gives you much more visibility and more opportunities for interacting with other people. It's also much easier for shy people. Be an active part of the event and more people will remember you, especially if you have a role in the organization or presentation of the event. And the people who benefit the most? The people who speak.
2. LISTEN, REMEMBER. When you meet new people they are likely to tell you who they are and what they do. The most common networking mistake is to ignore this and think instead about what you are going to say. What works much better is to listen carefully to what other people have said and remember the key parts. This information is essential so that you will be able to help them in future -- a key principal of effective networking.
3. BE GENEROUS WITH HELP. Help the people you know and the people you meet when they ask for it and when you can offer help proactively. This will give you a reputation for being a great person to know and when you need anything other people are more likely to help. This is not "tit for tat" reciprocation, but rather building credit in your network equity account, a balance you can draw on later. Sometimes Alice helps Bob and Carol, then Derek helps Alice just because she has a good reputation and he knows she is the kind of person who is generous with others. Just help people. It will all come back one day.
4. FOCUS ON A FEW PEOPLE. Don't try to meet a hundred people you will forget immediately. Instead have a more realistic goal to get to know one or two new people. Spend enough time listening to them so that you know them well enough to be helpful in future. If you connect properly with just one new person the event was a success. Anything more than one is excellent.
5. BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT. Nobody can help you if they don't know how. Make sure that if you are looking for an internship, a job, an investor, speaking gigs or anything else then make sure that people know about this. Another common mistake in life is to assume that people know what we want. They don't. Make sure people know what you want then they are more likely to let you know if they find it.
At the next meetup you go to try at least one of these ideas and see where it takes you. If you can do all five that is even better but you should grow your networking skills one step at a time. And don't worry if you don't do it perfectly. There will always be more chances. Just make sure you attend events regularly.
More about professional networking
There's much more about professional networking in my book Payforward Networking, available in paperback and Kindle editions.
Lectures, Workshops, Coaching and Writing
For lectures, workshops, one-to-one coaching and writing about networking and other communication topics you can contact Andrew Hennigan by phone on 0046 730 894 475 or 0033 6 79 61 42 81 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job interviews through Skype, Facetime and other Internet-based video call services have become very common for first meetings so that people can be screened quickly without the inconvenience of travel. This means that anyone who knows how to look better in a Skype call has an advantage over the candidates who don't realize that this is even possible or do not take the trouble to prepare.
In an earlier post I described Ten Ways to Impress People in a Skype Interview, covering all the basic techniques. Today people are increasingly using smartphones and tablets for these interviews, so in these cases which tips are the most useful? Here are five that will make a visible difference.
HAVE THE CAMERA FIXED AT EYE LEVEL. Probably the single most useful tip when using any device is to place the camera at eye level and fix it in some way. Don't lean over the device and don't try to hold it in your hand, like a video selfie. You will look much more professional when the camera len…
Images from a controversial Ford advertising campaign in India went viral on 22 March 2013, followed by a furious backlash against the company. Many people took issue with the image of people bound and gagged in the back of the car; others were upset by the image of Berlusconi during a period of difficult diplomatic relations between Italy and India.
Except that Ford didn't really have anything to do with it. The ads were created by employees at the JWT agency in India entirely on their own initiative without any input or approval from the agency or the client. The same individuals then uploaded them to adsoftheworld.com a site where people in the advertising business post their work to be seen primarily by their peers. The ad was never requested, seen or approved by Ford or even their agency. [Update: there are different versions of the story. Some say Ford knew more than they say in the official version. See Ford Mess: Ford, JWT and WPP Have Overeacted. ]
You have an important speech or presentation coming up on
Monday. It’s Sunday now and you have prepared nothing. Maybe it’s not your
fault because the plan was changed at the last minute, or maybe you had
allocated time to prepare but then there was an emergency to deal with. Or
maybe it is your fault. But it doesn’t matter.
Surprisingly, perhaps, the situation is not at all hopeless.
You can always recover from a zero-preparation situation and sometimes it can
even lead to a better outcome, provided that you know how to do it.
to be ill or saying that the dog ate your speech might get you off the hook, but long
term this will work against your credibility. Your best approach is to go ahead
but to use a lean approach to crafting a brief but powerful speech.
Here’s one way to solve the problem:
First of all, throw
away all of your old notes, slides and other materials. It’s tempting to
try to recycle old stuff but you will find that trying to find and adapt
existing things …