How to Talk in a Networking Session

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What is the easiest and most effective way to tell if you might be saying the wrong thing at a networking event? It's if

you can hear your voice and you are not asking a question. This mistake, like some of the others, seems obvious, but just about everyone commits this error. The reality is, everyone loves to talk about their favorite subject: Themselves. We want you to recognize this mistake before you make it and to give you some tips on how to avoid it.

The last thing people really want to hear when they first meet you is your life story or why your company/product/service is the best and how it will change their life. People don't immediately want to hear why your customer service process is superior and that if they did business with you, you would make it an experience they wouldn't soon forget. We all have been guilty of this one in the past. Almost EVERYONE has until they train themselves the right way.

It is so easy to launch into your sales pitch when someone asks, What do you do? Sure, if someone asks what you do, you answer. But keep it short and sweet. Then turn the dialogue back to them. We will address how to answer the question. What do you do? in a concise and meaningful way later. For now, we will focus on trying not to talk so much about ourselves.

The way to avoid this mistake is simple, get the other person to talk about themselves. If you do your job right, then this is what you will eventually start to hear over and over again,I'm sorry, I have been talking so much about what I do, but can you tell me again more about what it is that YOU do, Even THEN you don't want to go into detail. We will help you define your meaningful job description next, so once you have that, just restate it. Focus on THEM, what is important to THEM, not what's important to you. If you can be respectful, develop rapport, and start to build a relationship with this person and say AS FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE, you really will be ahead of the game.

If you have moved into a conversational mode, and you are talking freely about subjects OTHER than your work, then you've REALLY made some progress. The talking too much rule mainly applies to talking about yourself and your business, not necessarily talking in general.

We make this distinction because some people will take this too literally and show up at the next event having taken a vow of silence. SHEEESH, you wouldn't think we would have to explain this...we do.

Credit: Igwe Duke Eagle Ugochukwu

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Segun Ogunlana

A social innovator, a fixer, who likes to make a difference and get things done better. His focus covers Project Management, Systemic Innovation, Product Development, Design Thinking, Business Strategy, Set-up & Development. Some call him a super manager, natural marketer and sales man. He is a Chelsea fan too.

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