And… they loved it. In fact they loved it so much they didn’t want to stop talking to each other. It took me ages to get them to shut up and get back to their seats for the rest of my presentation…
Let me give you the back story. I was delivering an evening event on how to network effectively for the London branch of CIMA. It was a fairly typical professional association event. People meander in and either head towards the buffet or find a chair and stare at their blackberry for a bit. Let’s be honest, there wasn’t much talking or networking going on. Not too dissimilar to my local CIPD events which I attend regularly.
In my presentation I ‘force’ my delegates to get up and introduce themselves to three other people. In an instance the room was filled with noise and talking. Getting 80 accountants to stop talking and sit down without a microphone is difficult, I can promise you!
So, what’s the point of this blog post? Very simply many of us are afraid to go up to strangers and introduce ourselves. But when forced to do it, it’s amazing how easy it is.
So, next time you are out networking – whether at a social event, work event or OFFICIAL networking event, force yourself out of your comfort zone and make yourself introduce yourself to three people you don’t know. I promise that you wouldn’t regret it.
As Girish Shah, one of the attendees said at the event, if you are worried about rejection or carrying on the conversation, remember SW3 – some will, some wouldn’t and so what!