1. Always be early- in the real world, here’s a good saying to live by: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”
2. Dress for the job you want, not necessarily the job you have – it’s important to dress “smart” (meaning business casual). You want to look put together, not sloppy (so time to ditch those yoga pants or sweat pants… sorry friends)
3. Do your research – know who’s going to be in the room so you can focus your energy and use your time wisely
4. Be curious – ask a lot of questions, and more importantly, listen to the reply. We also like to ask questions that direct the conversation to finding commonalities or similarities for conversations later on
5. Be welcoming & friendly- it seems simple but something as easy as wearing a smile will show that you’re approachable and eager to meet new people. We’ve heard that a simple trick is to keep your mouth slightly open (and never pursed) at all times. Make sure your body language is saying the right things- keep your shoulders back, don’t fold your arms, keep your head up, and use good eye contact.
6. Set goals- know how many people you want to meet and who you want to meet, do some research in advance
7. Bring business cards with correct contact information- you can easily print off your own business cards if you don’t have an official role yet
8. Give good small talk- keep your initial conversations light and engaging. Avoid being too overly opinionated or bold about any particular topic
9. Rehearse your background story- ultimately, this will help you to avoid those dreaded “ums,” “likes,” and “uhs,” and will you keep you concise, help you build confidence, and keep you focused on key important and memorable highlights or successes
10. Get as many business cards as you can- this means increased connections down the road. Another bonus to collecting business cards is that you can write little details about your encounter with the person on the back of the card. Use this to make your reconnection (perhaps a thank you note or a LinkedIn invite) easier.
Dance Marathon Manager- Canada