Feel Confident at Conferences and Seminars
A few simple tips for meeting and
greeting, networking and getting what you want out of conferences
Conferences and Seminars can be loads
You get to meet new people, access
cutting edge information, and interact with brilliant minds and
The challenge is often in meeting
the right people-those who have the information and experience you
will be most interested to hear and learn from.
Then of course, there's the issue
of having the confidence to repeatedly introduce yourself to unfamiliar
Following are some tips for how you
can dive into a conference or seminar, ready to meet and greet,
schmooze and dazzle.
Create your 15-second elevator
You've got 15 seconds to tell someone
about yourself. What do you say?
Ready, set, go
15 seconds up.
Did you even know where to begin?
Sit down and grab a pen and paper.
Reflect on your experience, your relevant
qualifications, and the reasons for attending a conference in which
you have interest.
Write these down.
Now, determine what key messages you
might want to deliver about yourself upon meeting someone new.
Script your 15 second elevator introduction
Now, practice delivery of your introduction
until it feels natural to you.
Then go dazzle!
Identify at least 2 questions you
can ask anyone should conversation stall
What are some open-ended questions
(those that don't end in a simple yes/no response) that might once
again spark up the conversation?
Reflect back on your response to the
last step-what might you want to know about others based on your
own experience, qualifications, previous education on the subject
in which you're interested?
Finding common ground quickly is often
a great way to kick off a friendly discussion.
Have these questions in your back
pocket (figuratively of course), and ready for your use.
Should conversation continue to stall,
here's news-it's a conference/seminar!
What does that mean?
That means, there's plenty more people
So just politely excuse yourself and
move on to the next person.
Recognize that you may not always
be engaged with a skilled communicator on the other end, so rather
than allow an awkward chemistry to raise your anxiety level, move
on to the next person who just might be more of a talker.
Know what you want to get out of
What information are you looking for?
What contacts do you hope to come
Have a clear sense of these answers,
and challenge yourself to "search for the needle in the haystack"
and find it!
Make it into a fun game for yourself.
Above all, be yourself!
If you can be yourself, you're most
likely to have fun.
Give others license to have fun as
well, and you just might make new contacts in the process!