A version of this post originally appears on Views From 590, and is written by Embrace Disruption PR founder, Cory Stewart.
We’re all faced with going to countless engagements and parties over the holiday season – it’s inevitable. These engagements are amazing opportunities to network with new people, and build a larger list of professional contacts. However, let’s face it – not everyone is blessed with networking talent. Sound like you? Well, we’ve taken a moment to compile 5 things that you should keep in mind when heading out to your next holiday party:
1. ASK “GOOD” QUESTIONS
The typical “so what do you do?” won’t ever make you a memorable person to meet. Make sure you think up some interesting and creative conversation starters that will engage the person you’re talking to. Construct those questions as though you’re constructing a tweet: 140 characters or less!
2. LISTEN MORE THAN YOU TALK
Take in what the other person is saying. People innately enjoy talking about themselves – allow them to do it. The more you listen, the more you know about the person – and how you might be able to leverage your newly found connection.
3. DO FOR OTHERS FIRST
When you meet someone new, and get a good idea of what they’re all about- identify how you can help. Keep realistic expectations of your time, but offer a helping hand. What you do now will come back to you tenfold in the future – and you never know where your ‘good deed’ could take you!
4. OFFER YOUR BUSINESS CARD AFTER THE CONVERSATION
Don’t lead with your card – it’s just awkward. Make sure you fully engage your new found friend, and if it makes sense to: hand them your card.
5. SET FOLLOW-UP EXPECTATIONS
After a great conversation, let the other party know when you’re going to get in contact again (ie. “I’ll shoot you an email tomorrow”). If you follow through on your promise, this shows an extremely valuable character trait – accountability.
So, when you head out this season – tuck these 5 tips into your seasonal socks, and let your inner networking rockstar SHINE!