Outline of how the time will be used in 2-hour Art of the Schmooze session:
-Tools you’ll need (15 minutes)
A review of the tools necessary for successful networking: upbeat attitude, firm hand shake, eye contact, flyers/business cards, pen and elevator speech.
-Before the event – planning & setting goals (5 minutes)
How to select which events to attend based on the purpose of your networking. How to identify ahead of time who will be at an event and deciding stretch goals that expand upon personal comfort levels. The aim is definitely quality over quantity, with a focus on building on existing relationships, as well as making new ones.
-Overview at the event – (30 minutes)
A discussion about what to expect at an event and different scenarios for engaging in conversation. Participants will be given guidance on how to pace themselves, keep circulating, and ask for help getting introduced. I will demonstrate how important body language is by introducing the concept of standing in groups as a “croissant” vs. “bagel”, which has proven to be a very sticky concept.
-The conversation – (20 minutes)
In 8 steps participants will learn to engage, ask questions, listen, offer, pitch, exchange information, wrap-up and follow-up. I'll share how to keep the conversation rolling by asking quality questions and which questions to avoid as they may “other” rather than welcome. This portion of the session touches upon diversity and inclusion in a very practical manner. The timing of an “ask” or way to stay connected is specifically placed after a connection has been made. This underlines the importance of relationship-building prior to any request for time or money.
-Exit strategies – (15 minutes)
This is a crucial skill to learn so participants aren’t stuck in one conversation the whole event. Know when to move on and where you’re headed. The specific take away is to “grip, grin, go.”
-Practice (15 minutes)
Participants will be able to try out their new skills to so they’ll be better prepared for real life scenarios. I will circulate the room engaging participants and observing their interactions. If folks don't keep their conversations moving I'll give a signal to practice wrapping up and finding a new conversation.
-Q&A – (20 minutes)
Participants will be able to share where they felt challenged during the practice and as well as offer each other tips. I'll share a few more best practices based on the questions raised.