If you are stuck as to how to go about it, here are a few keys to consider before journeying on into networking bliss.
1. Do not list every skill known to your profession. It's been done to death. Hone in on how one, and I mean one service benefits the mind, body and soul. Be real about it, no sense in trying to spin yourself into unrealistic parameters. If life insurance is your career make it known how the end result helped and work into offering a personal consultation by adding an essential health tip. Work on grieving tips.
No one seems to think about this. End of life planning should include more for those being left behind. You don't have to be a counselor to comfort someone choosing a plan. No one likes talking about it so make it about more than the bottom line.
2. If the speech sounds more like you a moving locomotive the results will be the same. No one wants to be hurried into spending their money. You must reach the mind and heart before any revenue streams are created. If you don't it's a wrap.
3. Take time to prepare a well thought out pitch. What is written may well exceed the 30-second mark but you can refine as you go. Instead of trying to write it out all at once, try writing or typing your skills on one side, the other, one sentence of the benefit. You will discover your talent for multiple commercials you can use even when among those familiar in the audience.
4. Hold on to those business cards. Instead of the old five card Monte ask to sit if possible for some brief one-on-one time, which can decrease the awkwardness of whipping out devices and hastily making arrangements you end up cancelling or changing later. Connections take time and there is no time like the present.
5. Have a coke and sit down. Recently I went to a networking event where everyone was nice but the 30-second rule, despite being explained went into mind numbing absurdities. The moderator was ignored. Instead of classic dialogue some went all in with a question and answer session during the individual speech.
By now you should have realized after about 30 to 60 seconds the mind goes blank and people lose focus. Especially unkind when you have a large number of attendees. It is truly rude and makes the assumption that everyone else is the waste of time. Don't do it. These time stealers ended up leaving the function right away as it seems the line for them was near the exit.
6. Make good eye contact when speaking. This lets your audience know you are invested in them. Not a good time for the casual flirt I sometime see which is annoying at best. Look around the room before uttering your first word in order to gain the attention, giving emphasis to the importance of your message. Now please do not inbox me later, use some logic here. Do not give the Michael Jackson stance like he did one year at a concert. Make casual yet firm acknowledgment and proceed.
One of the goals here is to elevate hence build an elevator speech launching you to the next level. The so-called rules of the game may change and you will too. Keep it real, honest and informative. Great things await.
Until next time~