By: Sara Urquhart Image by: Justin Hackworth
Alt provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect with like-minded people, potential business partners, mentors and even people who’ll become lifelong friends. Make sure you’re in the best position to make those connections by being aware of how you make the best connections.
What helps you have a really good conversation? Do you need to be well-rested and decently nourished? Remember to eat well and sleep well! Will you feel more confident if you have a well-crafted elevator pitch ? Then practice it! Will you be most comfortable if you have someone by your side to help you make introductions? If so, arrange for that.
Arrange for whatever you need to put yourself in the best position to feel confident and comfortable engaging in real conversations. If you pass out business cards to fifty people but don’t have a meaningful conversation until the fifty-first person, that one person is worth more than the previous fifty. I’d say you can feel successful if you’ve made three good, solid connections.
Be willing to embrace opportunities for connections as they arise. This requires flexibility, and may even mean missing a breakout session if you’re in the middle of making one of those great connections. Go with the flow.
Prepare to talk about yourself and your business, and please prepare to listen. If you dominate conversations and focus only on your work and projects, you’ll miss many opportunities. You might be surprised to find that your goals can be accomplished by listening to someone else’s story. You may discover an incredible resource by being a good listener, or someone who will become an incredible resource down the road. You might also find that you’re the answer they’re looking for, and that’s certainly a meaningful outcome, too.