Tina Altieri, MC, facilitator and professional speaker with Media Australasia Xchange, has the following advice for face-to-face networking.
• Always do your homework.
• Ask yourself what you want to achieve from the meeting and what the other person would want from it.
• Clearly articulate your reason for the meet-ing – upfront.
• Research your subject well. Check not only LinkedIn profiles but also publications, news releases, and speaking engagements. This will help you feel more comfortable.
• Be prepared with a few questions, but remember it’s not all about you. Good networking is about relationship building. What will you contribute?
• What does your body language say about you? What many people forget is that what you say accounts for about 10 per cent of the impact of the message. Statistically, around 90 per cent of how you are judged professionally is based on non-verbal data. But this shouldn’t surprise you because we are highly visual beings. We get most of our information through our eyes and ears.
• Look engaged in the conversation. Don’t fiddle with your smartphone, uncross your arms and smile, even occasionally. You might want to make a strategic connection, but does your body language show that you are open for business?
Tina Altieri is managing principal of Media Australasia Xchange, a broadcaster and presentation consultant
This article is part of the MIX Spotlight feature on networking