Generation Y / Inter-Generations / Knock-Out Customer Service / Networking / Sell Yourself / Selling Skills


Your sitting in your office, coffee to the left, phone to the right, laptop in front of you. An email arrives from your boss asking you to attend tonight’s networking function on their behalf at the local Chamber of Commerce. You freeze, just staring at the email. You look at your diary desperate to have something, anything that could take you away from not attending. (Cue scary music) is nothing in your diary you’re free as a bird. 

Reality hits, you go hot, cold, hot again any thoughts of getting any kind of work done for the rest of the day has just flown out the window you’re concentrating on how will you get through this networking event.

T minus 390 minutes. Is there any possible way that the ground could open up and swallow you in there? Is there any possible way that meteor could hit your building so that you don’t have to attend? Is there any possible way that something will stop you from having to say “yes I will attend”?

Before replying to your boss you leave for lunch, you don’t eat a thing. How could you even think of eating anything at a time like this? You would know sooner want to attend a networking function then stick a fork in your eye. You know as the next generation of leader you need to step up, embrace this, show your boss what you’re made of and put yourself in a situation where you’re uncomfortable.

It’s time to take this networking bull by the hands and learn a few simple tips to make small talk, easy. 

  1. Silence your inner critic – you know who this is this is the little voice in your head keeps telling you you can’t you can’t you can’t. You need to turn the volume down press the News press pause on your inner critic, silence them. You know there’re times that you’ve silenced your inner critic before maybe it was a time that you were going for a job interview and you need it was way beyond your means. You’re really pretty spoke to you then as well but you like to silence it.
  2. Begin with the obvious – this is me, this is what I do, this is why I’m here (and not because my boss told me to be!)
  3. Compliment carefully – don’t be creepy when giving a compliment to anyone. This does not speed dating this is a corporate networking function. If you want to compliment a person on their Mont Blanc pen, just giving a simple “what a beautiful pen” Will suffice for the compliment you need to go further stop.
  4. Use friendly body language – let’s start with I contact when talking with one-on-one maintained eye contact with the person 60 to 70% of the time. Don’t stare them down by giving them 60 to 70% of the time of your eye contact your remaining interested loads listening. Stand straight I stand straight you had great posture your diaphragm is open your chest is open and it allows you to speak freely and not be concave. I standing straight you’re a leading to confidence. Hold your chin level not too high and not to know, keeping level is an error confidence looking low is that you have not self-confidence looking high, you give off the idea that you’re too good for the rest of us here. Remain and arms distance apart from the person you’re speaking with. About anything have a genuine smile. Negative body language is: Crossed arms, Standing with hands in pockets, Slouching, Standing with your ankles crossed, Fidgeting or playing with pen, hair, Frowning, Poker-face, Yawning, Looking at a clock. Of course, you’re not silly, you know all of this, but sometimes when we are in these uncomfortable situations, we just need to be reminded of them.
  5. Turn the spotlight on others – take the attention off you, and ask a question of the other people. Look at their business card and ask a question about their role/title/department. This way you find out more in-depth knowledge about the person and what they do. Once the attention is off you, you have the time to think of the next question as it arises “interesting, so how does that impact travel within your department?”
  6. Listen – you have 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them in that proportion.
  7. Keep it light – don’t drag down the conversation with heavy topics of conversation. When ‘crickets’ arrive and there’s nothing to say, ask about their last, or upcoming, holiday. Favourite Restaurant near here? What’s on for the weekend?

There are many more tips and areas that I guide and mentor you for you or your team. Click here to start the journey, ask a question or book me in to speak at your next conference or event.