Category Archives: first impressions

How to command attention when introducing yourself.

I was reminded tonight at an event of a simple yet often overlooked way to command attention when introducing yourself…

…Don’t hand someone your card until after you have introduced yourself, shared what you do and hopefully developed some rapport.

If you do, you run the risk of them losing their focus on you, looking at the card and trying to read it while you are starting to speak.

It’s instinctive to want to hand someone our card or brochure when introducing yourself as it reinforces your name and maybe depicts an image of what we do. It’s especially tempting when other people around you are doing that and you are simply going with the trend.

Next time you are introducing yourself to someone, take note :

At what point are you handing out your business card?

Is it at the beginning of the interaction or the end of the interaction?

Are you taking notes on the back of your card? You can provide this to them as a helpful reference about your conversation and make the card exchange more meaningful.

What things have you found worked (or didn’t work) when introducing yourself to keep the other person engaged and actually hear (and understand as well as retain) what you are saying?

The Art of Invisible Networking – Yes, it exists.

Yes, you read that right. I just said invisible and networking in the same sentence. How could that be?

I love to ask about the concept of visibility when talking at events. When the audience is posed with the question of “what is visibility”, naturally, many answer that it’s “being seen” and yes, in a sense it is.. However, visibility is about much more than that.

Merriam-Webster defines visibility as “the capability of being readily noticed”…

Let’s re-read that. It is “the -capability- of being readily noticed.”

Understanding this and applying it was instrumental in me being able to quadruple the size of our previous business through online and offline networking. Why? Because I was intentional in making sure that I was in as many places as I could be both online and offline so that when a prospect was ready to “see” me, I was there.

In fact, it got to a point where people used to say to me “Taryn, I have a referral for you but I knew I would run into you during the week and wanted to give it to you in person.” They knew they would see me and counted on it, why? Because I was intentionally visible.

It is often discussed that consumers buy on their timetable and not on ours… The same applies to business networking and referrals. The trick to capitalize on this is to be everywhere you can so that you are always top of mind so that when the opportunity arises for you to capitalize on a moment, that you are there, ready to be noticed.

That being said, just because you are out networking does not mean that you are capable of being readily noticed. Imagine people who are on Twitter but only update once every few days. Do you think they are demonstrating that they have the capability of being readily noticed?

Do you know that person who goes to a networking event once in a while yet wonders why they can’t get business referrals? Or why it is that they are not often remembered? What about that person who is on Twitter or Facebook and feels that they are pointless and they cannot grow their businesses that way? Consider their posting habits or their event outreach…

Are YOU struggling with some of these concerns? It might be time to look at your own online and offline strategy and ask yourself the question  “am I truly visible?  Am I easily noticable? Am I accessible and memorable?”

If the answers are no, then you too might be inadvertently practicing the art of invisible networking…

Now that you know that, what are you going to do about it?

The Secret to Being Remembered

On Oct 29, I was a speaker at the business meets charity event, “Small Business Giving Big, on “How to attract referrals like a magnet.” In addition to being a speaker, I had the pleasure to sit in on the presentation by Bonnie Ross-Parker, America’s “Connection Diva.” She was talking on pointers for effective networking and she said something that truly resonated with me. I have always applied this to my networking strategy and teach it to my networking coaching clients but she summarized it beautifully and succinctly.

“If you rescue someone, they will love you forever.” Bonnie Ross Parker

Now, I am sure you can see the various ways that this can be applied in life and business… In this instance, she was referring to when you are at an event and you see someone standing alone… There are always people like that at functions… In fact, you might have been one of them at some point.

Her point is that, if you introduce yourself, make them feel welcome and even try to introduce them to some others at the event, you will surely stand out. This will make all the difference in their experience and they will also be open to learning more about you because you went out of your way to make them feel welcome. In addition, there is a great likelihood that they will not forget that experience because of how you went out of your way.

“Why show up [to a networking event] if you don’t want to be remembered?” – Bonnie Ross Parker

Have you ever had an experience where an individual went out of their way to make you feel welcome? Have you ever “rescued” someone?  What were the results of those experiences?

What are you saying before you speak?

First impressions are formed within the first few seconds of meeting someone… SECONDS. That means that in the time it took to read the first sentence, if you had met someone face to face, they already sized you up based on your demeanor, facial expressions and attire.

Like it or not, what you wear says alot about you and how seriously you take your business, product, service or blog…

When you are out “networking,” what are you wearing? Jeans? T-shirts? Sneakers? For women, are you wearing the right make-up? For gentleman, are your shirts tucked in neatly? You often don’t get a second chance at a first impression… are YOU putting your best businesss image forward?

Here is a big secret for you – I love jeans and would live in them if I could. But after 7 years of non-stop networking for visibility, business growth, exposure and credibilty, one thing stands true – when networking, you need to walk the walk and talk the talk. If you want people to remember you and want to make a good first impresssion, you need to stand out and do things that not everyone does.. That includes what you wear.

Have you considered that what you are wearing does not lend itself to optimal visual credibility? This is often one of the biggest reasons people do not earn trust and get beyond their first encounter. This can also affect the ability to earn referrals and invitations to attend other events from people in their network because it not yet apparent if they truly take their business, product, service or blog seriously.

In short… have you even considered what you and your image is saying before you speak?

Bloggers need to network, too.

This past weekend, I attended IZEAFEST in Orlando… The content of this social media bonanza was fantastic. There were speakers such as Liz Strauss, Zena Weist, Joseph Jaffe, Chris Brogan, Ted Murphy, PR Sarah Evans and more.

But there was one thing noticabably lacking – networking.

Don’t get me wrong, there was lots of socializing…  however, by definition, networking is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.. (Merriam-Webster)


One thing that I couldn’t help but notice was how many people downplayed what they “did” and often times didn’t even know how to explain it and therefore truly limited their ability to be productive.

Let me share with you an actual conversation I had with someone. I am confident this will illustrate my point.

Me: so… what do you do?

Them: Producer

Me: You’re a producer of what

Them: Content

Me: What kind of content?

Them: blogs

Me: Ah, what are your blogs about?

Them: Stuff, whatever I feel like.

Me: …. ?!?

Do you see the problem with that conversation? They lost their chance to earn a new reader or subscriber. In addition, based on their reply, I could have told my friends about their blog if they had minimally told me what even ONE blog was about… And if I would have liked what I saw, I might have gone online and promoted their blog to my communities….

I cannot count how many similar conversations I had like that over the weekend. I’m always looking to see how I can help someone gain better visibility and connect them with someone valueable. However, when I am faced with replies such as that, it makes being a valuable resource very difficult.

Therefore, I present you with the top 3 networking tips for bloggers:

1 – Just because you have a succesful blog doesn’t mean that I know it. Inform me! Give me some background information!

2 – Just because you have multiple blogs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell me about any of them. Choose 1-2 of your current blogs and tell me what they are about.

3 – Don’t assume that people know industry jargon such as content producer. Nothing is worse than making the person you are talking to feel dumb or have to pull information out of you. If you want readers, you need to market to people when networking just like you do online.

Have you had a similar situation?

What is your Superman move and accompanying soundtrack?

I’ll never forget it… In fact, I remember it like it was yesterday.

Imagine this if you will.. 30 professionals tucked into a side room of a restaurant for an early morning meeting

I had just presented on strategic networking skills, how it spills over into social media and networking do’s and don’ts… The last speaker had just started his presentation on productivity tips and business skills… About 10 minutes into his engaging presentation, he started talking about the importance of having a power move to help bring forth your inner power and emotional strength, especially crucial before going into business meetings…

When I least expected it, in the quiet of that 7 AM meeting, the speaker positioned him so that he was semi-crouching, and hit his chest and in one fell swoop, brought his arms in a semi-circle  to his hips and then shot his arms out forward in a Superman-swoosh… THAT was his power move… And believe me, we all felt it. His demeanor instantly changed and so did the room.

Do you have a Superman move? What about a few songs that really make you feel good? Do you listen to them before you go to a meeting? These are all important things to help YOU stand apart from the others at events… Why? Because people don’t always remember what you do but they remember how you made them feel. If you are in a great mood, that will reflect in how you interact  and like-minded people will be drawn to you – like attracts like, that’s a fact!

In closing, I’ll tell you my power songs. These help me ease my pre-networking event jitters… And yes, I STILL get jitters before an event. I AM human! 

  • Gwen Stefani – What You Waiting For
  • Anything Def Leppard
  • Depeche Mode – Stripped
  • Well, Anything Depeche Mode really!
  • The Cars – Hello Again
  • September – Cry for you
  • Coldplay – Clocks
  • This list is by no means all inclusive… !

And lastly… I am proud to say that I’ve adopted and adapted The Superman Move… If you don’t have a “move”, try it out. You’d be amazed at what it can do for you! If it doesn’t empower you, minimally you’ll get a good laugh and we all know how useful that endorphin and serotonin rush is  be right before meeting strangers.

Are you making this business faux-pas and sabotaging yourself?

Why is it that some people come across as serious, stern and unfriendly accompanied by intense scowls when they’re not really like that? I’ve met several people recently who are so kind, fun and gracious yet when I first met them, they gave off quite the opposite impression…

This is a very big problem in business networking.. What expression are YOU making when not sporting a smile? Try on your party face and see what happens!

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Background – This post was prompted when I was walking in front of a store and a woman approached me with the most foul expression…I smiled at her… Nothing. I nodded my head in acknowledgment of her. Nothing. I loved her outfit and decided to give her a compliment even though I thought she might spew venom at me if I spoke to her. Then, and ONLY then, was it that  her entire position changed and it became apparent that her expression was NOT an accurate reflection of the person inside…

It got me thinking about how many times this happens in business networking and how many strategic alliances are turned off by people who aren’t thinking about the image they are projecting and their unapproachability. Yes, it’s true, you can’t just a book by it’s cover but sometimes the cover is the first and only impression you get of someone and make your decision as to whether you are going to pursue that relationship or not.