Promoting yourself and your business in face-to-face situations can be a daunting task. Have you ever walked into a networking event, seen all of the people mingling and felt like you are probably the only one there who hasn’t mastered the art of face-to-face promotion?
Don’t worry, it can be a challenge for all of us.
First things first- have you mastered the elevator speech? Be sure to check out my posts Perfecting the Elevator Speech Part 1 and Perfecting the Elevator Speech Part 2 to learn more about this very useful skill. Know your elevator speech inside and out so (even if you are nervous) you’ll have something to say about your business.
Find a job. If I’m at an event where I know the hosts and I’m feeling a little less outgoing than normal, I will often ask if there is any way I can help. Whether it’s taking coats, filling wine glasses, or manning the name tag table, doing some bit of work helps the host, makes me feel more at ease until the nervousness passes AND makes me look like I’m in charge – like I know what I’m doing – AND like I’m a person everyone else needs to know. Granted, it’s a position of imaginary power, but other people don’t know that. If they think you are one of the folks in charge they will come to you. None of those standing around at the edge of the room wondering who to talk to moments.
Conversely, try standing around the edge of the room and just observe everyone. Who looks confident, outgoing and chatty? Who looks nervous, shy or quiet? Go talk to the quiet or shy people first. They will thank you for engaging with them and it will give you a chance to “dip your toes in the water,” so to speak. Warm up with other people who may be feeling timid and then once you feel less nervous, be sure to speak to some of the more confident and outgoing people as well.
Your mother said it a hundred times and I’m going to say it to you again- be yourself. You are who you are. Tall, short, shy, outgoing, meek or bold- just go with it. You’ll come off more genuine and likable when you act like yourself than as opposed to someone else. You are wise, witty and wonderful and hella likable too. Doubt yourself? Go visit the ladies room and look in the mirror. Give yourself a pep talk. You are a rock star!
Here’s a final bit of advice. Always, always be nice. The truth is you aren’t likely to know many people at a large networking event, so being extra kind is extra good. Do your best to find a silver lining ALWAYS. No one wants to hear one more person complaining about recent bad weather. Did you see a rainbow or find something particularly striking about the snow? Talk about THAT. People will remember your positive vibe.
Which do you prefer – face-to-face or online promotion? Why?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess