How to make connections, as if you really know what you are doing

Original author: Laura Schwartz
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In this article, Laura Schwartz, a former White House insider, talks about how to find, chat , and have the best people at a party .

Oprah was able to, and you can too. It's time to leave a comfortable corner suite, a room, a garage, a coffee shop, a main office and go out into the world and broadcast.

The host of the Chicago Chicago television channel, Oprah Winfrey, went on a date at the Hamburger Hamlet with film critic Roger Ebert in the mid-80s and made the most important professional decision of her life.

She had two opportunities to work in the media, and she did not know which way to choose. Should I play it safe and conclude an agreement with ABC, which invited her to conduct her show and broadcast it at ABC stations owned and operated by the channel throughout the country. Or should she collaborate with King World, which will try to sell her show to every branch in the country in different branches? After Roger scribbled the pros and cons right on the napkin at the table, Oprah decided to make a deal with King World, and the rest is history.

Oprah was not in the studio or in the conference room when she had to make, perhaps, the most important decision in her life . She dined and talked informally. We all do it. Why not do it better?

If I learned anything at the White House during the eight years during the Clinton administration, it is that any social interaction is an opportunity to find new relationships that can turn into partnerships, and ideas that can come true. Whether you are an entrepreneur, industry tycoon or college graduate, every day is an opportunity to grow and create a personal brand through networking. Here are five tips to do this better:

1. Ask yourself: “Is this a small talk or my small talk?”

Office jokes the day after a party are not funny if you cannot remember them. If you feel more relaxed after a glass of booze, drink it. Just be careful with three or more glasses. Alternatively, drink water or ask for something less strong. We all know this, but it is amazing how often we can simply forget or get nervous and grab onto an extra glass. But the boss, colleague or entrepreneur can note for himself how you behave outside the office.

2. Always come prepared

Business cards are inexpensive to manufacture, so have them and use them. No matter how technically savvy you are and who you are trying to impress by driving contacts into your phone, the procedure for exchanging business cards is something tangible and this is the first step towards many future deals.

3. Get out of your comfort zone.

Whether you are with potential customers, colleagues or friends, meet new people and rotate outside of your immediate circle of friends. Never predict in advance when the next conversation will happen that will change your life.

First Lady Jackie Kennedy had a rule in the White House: invited guests could bring another person with them, but had to sit at different tables during dinner. It was her way of getting them into conversation.

By representing the different personalities of your company, you will make the dialogue more intense, and people will undoubtedly appreciate the chance to expand their social horizons.

4. Find out everything in advance

There is a fine line between networking and harassment, but a little investigation before the event is imperative. When you respond to the invitation, ask who else will come or view the list of email addresses on e-vite. Enter the names of these people on Facebook and see what they post, and on LinkedIn get acquainted with their education and experience, with the Twitter feed and interests on Pinterest.

You can establish a connection with someone even before you meet, which will result in a meaningful conversation. Just do not forget to organically use the information you received in the conversation - you do not want to scare the stranger by calling his three children by name and asking how they are doing.

5. Listen

Larry King once said: “I never learned anything new when I spoke myself,” and he was right! It’s better to impress someone by showing interest in people than to talk too much about yourself. This is your opportunity to gather information and find how you can be useful to them. In the end, you can support people just by listening to them - and this can be your gift in itself.

Follow these five tips and your contact base will grow as fast as business opportunities. It doesn’t matter how big your name is - you will make an impression, grow yourself and grow your business at the same time, if you just start to get out of the office!

Laura Schwartz- A former Event Director at the White House (under the Clinton Administration), who quickly ascended the career ladder, going from a stenographer, press secretary Midwest, a television director to an event director in the White House. Today, Laura is the author, board member of Clean the World, the American Heart Association and Common Threads, as well as an active speaker at the Eagles Talent Speakers Bureau.

PS We recommend another article on the topic - How successful people cope with their toxic opponents .

Translation by Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult

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