As an emerging artist, it's vital to always keep your networks growing. Use these tips from Blake Harvey, Founder of The Lawrence Blake Group, to aid you in making wise decisions involving your brands marketing & Public Relations strategies.
Ever wonder why some people instantly become the life of a party? Whether it’s at your weekly office’s operations meeting or a cocktail reception, some people just have the ability to communicate with everyone. As a publicist, I regularly have to mingle with people from all ends of the world, from countless sectors of business, and I want to give you a few tips that will allow you to successfully do the same!
Communication is a powerful ability that we have, arguably, the most important ability we could ever want. Everyone can have a conversation, but how can you take it to a higher level? Successful communication skills can be acquired quite easily. The following tips can be utilized in every situation or at any event:
1) Be yourself. A huge problem comes when you completely change your attitude and personality to fit-in. Everyone can tell if a person is trying too hard to work a room. The last thing you want is to be labeled the pest of an event. It is likely that you will have a valuable conversation with someone if you relax, be confident, and conduct yourself in a manner that you would usually. In Public Relations, this is a technique that I use with clients from the very beginning. Image Reliability is the name of this technique and is vital for anyone specializing in a particular industry. You do not want one person to remember you one way, and another have a completely different perspective.
2) Don’t over promote. Something I commonly see while at events is the guy or girl with a handful of business cards giving them out like a sidewalk flyer distributer. What could possibly be wrong with promoting yourself and your work? The problem with this is you become just another business card. You mean very little if a person cannot put a face to your card, I guarantee this. Your business card should be an extension of a conversation you were having with an individual. Whoever you give your card to should wake up the next day, know who you are, and be eager to send you an email to continue where you two left off during the first meeting.
3) Careful with the drinking. Some of the best networking situations are over a cocktail, that’s a known fact. If you do drink, be aware of your consumption. Professionals know when is the right time to kick back and socially drink, and naturally, know when you probably shouldn’t. I’ve met some very talented people who have ruined the potential for a business relationship because by the end of the night are stumbling and falling out of their seats to leave. While working, I have a strict rule with clients of a two drink maximum, none of which may be shots.
4) Prepare. Before you enter a networking situation, you should have a rehearsed introduction of yourself and what you do. Be brief, and to the point. A lot of the time, when asked what a person does professionally, they will go into a rant of their beginnings, clients and future projects. This is unacceptable when first meeting someone. The best thing to do is prepare a two sentence introduction of yourself that you may share with everyone.
5) Measure the room. As you walk in, look around. Take note of what guests are wearing, the overall mood of the room, and if there are any known power figures in attendance. If this is a suit and tie event, make sure you are appropriately dressed and ready to break the ice of the corporate executive world. If the mood is lively, get ready to put on a smile and mingle accordingly. If there are any celebrities or known powerful figures, be sure to introduce yourself with the 2 sentence introduction you have prepared. The more guests, the more diverse the industries of attendees, the more powerful figures there, will determine how heavy the room is and how hard you must work to successfully communicate with them.
The bottom line is communication is not easy, but by following these simple steps, you can break the ice by being yourself and humbly interacting in any networking situation.