Over the last few years I’ve met people that swear by social media saying that they never have to go to another in-person networking event. I’ve also met my share of people who feel that social media is merely a distraction with no real value. How do I feel? Well, given that I offer courses in both traditional networking and social media I’m sure you can tell that I believe there’s value in both. And like most things in life, where you get the most benefit will depend on your situation. I will say that completely discounting either method of making new connections is a mistake. I have had successes using both methods and I know many others that have as well.
You have a lot to say and are enthusiastic about what you have to say, yet you’re lacking one key ingredient — no one can understand you because you mumble. You may mumble and not even be aware of it — although a good indicator is when people are always asking you to repeat yourself because they didn’t hear or understand what you said.
Whenever you give a speech, people will inevitably give you feedback regardless of whether you’ve asked for it or not. Sometimes the feedback will be something you can actually put to use to improve your presentation. But frequently, it’s not helpful and in some instances can be harmful – especially if it gets you thinking about it (for one reason or another) to the point where it becomes a distraction.
I once heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Well I’d like to add a second definition: trying to please everyone. Trying to make everyone in a group happy ranges from difficult to impossible and the only guarantee you have is that you’ll wish you never tried.
This topic comes up frequently in both my public speaking and networking classes as people are concerned about what others think. I think we all have a natural tendency to focus on the audience members that aren’t paying attention to us during a speech or the folks at a networking event that say “it was nice to meet you — I see a client on the other side of the room” immediately after you introduce yourself.