…to prepare yourself to be at ease in a crowd of strangers and talk to anyone with confidence
When I was preparing to talk to the Northern Colorado Coaching Alliance this week on Simply Outrageous Networking, I was reminded that sometimes it’s easier said than done to be comfortable with networking. Several years ago, the Young Women of the West had Group Realtor Billie Cook in to talk about “How To Work A Room.” After Billie’s presentation, the girls practiced among themselves, and later went to the Loveland Chamber Business After Hours. I was so proud of them–they were little stars–comfortable and at ease while talking to adults they had never met. Yes, TEENAGERS talking to adults!

Here are some tips you can use to prepare yourself to be at ease in a crowd of strangers and talk to anyone with confidence :

1) Read, read, read . You can find common interests and be a sparkling conversationalist if you are informed! Read Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, US magazine, Parents magazine and even The National Inquirer. That way you will know who the Broncos just cut, or what movies are block-busters. You’ll know when The Ranch will host the Avs game, and who’s in the production at the Carousel Dinner Theater. Know local news and national gossip. I take 1/2 hour each day just to catch up on my reading, and I always have a magazine with me in case I have a few minutes to spare between appointments or while waiting for a client.

2) Stop selling yourself and concentrate on gathering information . Listen rather than talk; ask questions and say “tell me more.” Pretend you are a reporter getting ready to write a story on the person. When you put the other person in the spotlight, they will remember you with great affection!

3) Use the information you’ve just heard as resource-gatherer to become a match-maker . Put people together: If you meet someone who is a copy writer, you might say, “You should meet Alice . She just started a small business and might need some brochures written. And then there’s Susan who is creating a website. She might need someone with a way with words to help. Let’s go find them!” Or if the other resources aren’t present, just say, Would you like their phone numbers?” Make it easy for people to connect through YOU and they will all remember you in a very positive way.

We do business with people we know, and especially with people we like. Networking is just the first step. These are just three GR8 Ideas to make networking easier. If you want to hear more, you’ll just have to book me to do a presentation to your group!