Networking events can be like learning to ride a bike. Scary at first, but with some practice, fun and exhilarating.
Last night I attended the Legal Mocktail, a networking training session that takes place in a real cocktail party setting. The event was sponsored by the Legal Marketing Association New England Chapter and the Women's Bar Association. Not only did I have a chance to meet new people and connect with friends and colleagues, I had a chance to practice my networking skills.
I remember when I learned to ride a bike my brother ran behind me shouting, "Peddle, Peddle, Peddle." I knew I needed to peddle but the extra reminder helped me keep going.
Here a a couple of extra reminders that helped me last night during the Legal Mocktail and may help you to at your next networking reception.
- Set a goal for attending the event.
- Ask for the attendee list before the event.
- Prepare your "elevator speech" before you go. Be ready to answer the question, "What do you do?"
- Also be ready to answer the question, What's new?"
- Have some ice breaker questions ready. "What brings you here tonight?"
- Bring your business cards. Yes, basic but often forgotten.
- Have a system for receiving and distributing business cards. For example, keep your cards in your right pocket and put cards you receive in your left pocket.
- And most important, Smile!