“Why are you here?”
That’s the first question a person asked me after he overheard my introduction to someone else.
This happened at a gathering of entrepreneurs who came together to hear a popular, local author share corporate writing tips.
Rather than posed as an inquisitive question, this person’s face was contorted as if my profession revealed that I had no business attending the event.
My response: “I’m here for the speaker. Why are you here?”
I don’t remember his answer, which is no loss because his misplaced arrogance made me wary of anything he said.
What does matter is choosing to spend your time at gatherings where value lies. Sidestep people with closed minds, and spend time with individuals willing to share conversation, ideas, and collaborations.
Create a dynamic description
One thing the indignant person helped me review was the way I present myself. It’s important to upgrade and practice the elevator pitch no matter where you’re standing.
- What’s the wow factor in my description?
- What do I want new people to ask me?
- How does my presentation encourage conversation?
The words you select are to focus heavily on marketing, and if it does not, it’s time to create a new tagline, title, description, or whatever identifier you choose to call it.
Stating that you’re a graphic designer or life coach isn’t enough. Those are business card titles. When introducing yourself, your words describe value or results so the other person wants to know more. That’s the type of conversation starter you tailor over time. You’ll know when it’s right, because all heads in the room will turn in your direction to hear more.
If you’re mature enough to remember the E.F. Hutton commercials, you’ll recall the head-turning visual.
Know why you’re there
Why you decide to attend a function is your call, and you must have an agenda. Before I spend time outside of the office, I ask myself three questions:
- What information will the speaker reveal to enhance my business?
- Who are other attendees scheduled to be there that I want to meet?
- What is the potential to find new clients at this event?
I uncover more about pre-conference decisions and planning in the article, Answer These Questions Before Attending Your Next Business Conference.
State your professional value confidently. Know your reasons for attending events before you arrive. Most of all, come away with the information you seek, and let no one’s sour mood deflect your power and brilliance.