7 Ways to Get Better Results from Small Talk and Networking

Love it or hate it, networking is a valuable way to move yourself and your business forward.

And the more you network, the more you will network. I’m a believer, two years after starting my own business and putting myself and what I am passionate about out into the world every day.

What I’ve learned is that one connection leads to another. These connections can lead to helping someone else achieve their goals, aligning myself with a new colleague to create inspired collaboration, meeting my perfect customer, and signing contracts that benefit both my new clients and me.

Some results of networking are achieved almost immediately. Others can take quite some time to realize. Either way, it’s all worth it. And that’s why we need to keep refining our small talk and networking skills.  With that in mind, here are 7 ways to get better results from networking events:

1. Understand WHY you are networking.

Trying to sell a specific product or service at a networking event can start you off on the wrong foot right from the get-go. Attend a networking event to meet people, listen, learn and add value.

2. Don’t be a shark.

We all want SOMETHING from our networking efforts. It’s how we go about getting ‘the something’ that matters. Your communication skills, your empathy and your authenticity will contribute to your success. (And don’t forget your sunny, engaging personality.)

3. Put your excellent communication skills to work.

The ability to present yourself, the skill of active listening, the art of asking questions, the insight of sharing relevant experiences …  All of these will help you navigate a networking event successfully.

4. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, fake it.

Confession: I used to hate networking. I wasn’t comfortable, I wasn’t sure what to say or ask, and frankly, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Thankfully, I’ve grown into ‘the networking skill’. Now, I have a hard time finding a downside to networking.

5. Make sure you follow up in a timely manner.

If you’ve promised to send someone a document, tip or book recommendation, do it the next day. You are fresh in their minds, and following up right away will reinforce the know-like-and-trust factor. This is easier if you have made notes on their business card or in a small notebook during your discussion.

6. Do a bit of research before you go.

Who is sponsoring the event and why? Who is attending? Doctors, lawyers, auto mechanics or astrophysicists? What do they need to be successful? Put yourself in their shoes before you go, and be ready to ask questions and really listen to the answers.

7. Learn the art of small talk.

Small talk gives us an opportunity to share a bit about ourselves while determining if we have common interests that encourage further exploration. If you are new at networking, prepare one or two opening lines and probing questions to get you started. The more you practice, the better and more natural you will become. And you don’t want to kill the conversation before it even starts.

What are your secrets to being a successful networker? Share them in the comments below. We can always learn from each other.

All the best,

Tracie Marquardt

Quality Assurance Communication

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International Audit Report Writing Workshop

Last chance to work with Tracie in 2017 to take YOUR Audit Report Writing skills to the next level!

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September 25 & 26 in Frankfurt.

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How to Prepare and Deliver a Powerful Presentation: Hosted by the IHK Rhein-Neckar

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October 9 & 10, 2017, in Mannheim, Germany

Change the way you think about, design and deliver presentations to international audiences. Presentation of best practices, discussion, individual and group work, practice delivery of your presentation with trainer and peer feedback.

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International Audit Report Writing Workshop

international-audit-report-writing

September 25 & 26, 2017, in Frankfurt, Germany

A two-day workshop where participants will learn audit report writing best practices and will apply these tools, techniques and strategies to write stakeholder-focused, action-oriented audit reports that achieve better results.

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How to Prepare and Deliver a Powerful Presentation: A Workshop by Tracie Marquardt

Join Tracie Marquardt for a presentations workshop held by the IHK Rhein-Neckar, Mannheim Branch.

Workshop Details

How to Prepare and Deliver a Powerful Presentation

To create a successful presentation today, you need an effective storyline, compelling content, and a deep understanding of what motivates your audience. It means taking your audience on a journey that enables them to see, feel and believe in the value of the change to come. From today’s status quo to tomorrow’s possibilities: It is time to create positive change in your organization and the world around you.

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This workshop is practical and interactive. Participants will learn Tracie’s proven techniques and strategies, get personal feedback, resolve challenges with their current presentation and enhance their presentation skills. Become an expert at persuading your audience to take action once they leave your presentation, as that is where the journey really begins.

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Change Your Approach to Audit Report Writing

“Think before you ink” – that was one of the key messages Marko Hamel (SAP) learned when he attended my International Audit Report Writing training program. He said ‘ I completely changed my approach to audit report writing because of the techniques and strategies I learned from Tracie.”

If you want to write clear, concise and persuasive audit findings and recommendations, your opportunity is just weeks away. My next International Audit Report Writing takes place in June. Early bird pricing is available until May 6. Learn more and register now!

Tracie Marquardt

Quality Assurance Communication