Posted by Evgenia Galinskaya on 30 May, 2015
In this blog you will learn some great ways to make the best out of conference networking, as well as what you should do after attending the event.
Although it is the third part of the article entitled “How Every Medical Woman Can Shine at a Conference”, networking (and following up) is something that both men and women should approach proactively when attending professional events.
As a reminder, in the first part of the article you learnt about how to best prepare for the professional events, even if you are not a speaker. In second part, you discovered tips for presenting from stage and interacting from the audience.
• Be proactive
a) Re-introduce yourself to people who you had met at other events and ask them about their progress since then.
b) Let people into your conversation circle.
c) Ask for a business card. Later on, write down key points about that person on the back of their card, including what helpful resource you could share with them.
• Be helpful
a) Offer to make an introduction at the conference.
b) Offer to send a useful resource or information.
c) Ask your conversation partner for advice (most people like sharing their wisdom and expertise).
• Small talk
a) Resist the quick “me too!” – let the other person enjoy telling their story.
b) Instead of “So, what do you do?” use “What do you enjoy most about the work you do?” or “What inspired you to go into your field?”.
c) Empathise (“It must’ve been…”).
d) Ask about things they’ve experienced in the past 5-8 hours (eg. their travel, hotel stay, experiences at breakout sessions).
e) Learn the lost art of giving (sincere) compliments. In my opinion, being able to effectively boost other people’s self-esteem is the most powerful way to build one’s own self-esteem.
f) Remember a person’s name by repeating it back immediately after they introduce themselves. If you’ve forgotten, say “Please remind me your name again?”
• Finishing a conversation
a) “It’s good to talk to you. If you don’t mind, I need to talk to another colleague of mine so I have to go now.”
b) “Great to meet you. We should probably mingle and meet some other people. Enjoy the rest of the conference”.
a) Ask open questions and use a phrase “Tell me more”.
b) Avoid disempowering words and phrases: “only”, “just”, “oops!”, “I’m not really an expert in this, but…”
• Expand your network
a) Review business cards and send a follow-up email to your new connections within 48 hours. If you wrote some notes on people’s business cards, it’ll be easy to write a personalised message. For example: “Dear XYZ, it was my pleasure to meet you at ABC conference. I was very interested to hear about PQR, and I wish you success with that project (or, “Hearing about PQR from you inspired me to…”). Here’s a link to that I thought would be helpful for your . Let’s stay in touch. Kind regards, ”.
b) Connect on LinkedIn with the people you met. You can write something like “Dear XYZ, it was my pleasure to meet you at ABC conference. We spoke about PQR, and I would like to learn more about it (or, “We spoke about PQR, and I wish you success with that project”). I’ll be great to connect. Kind regards, ”.
• Share your learning
a) Write a blog (eg. LinkedIn) or an article describing event’s highlights.
b) Upload your presentation on SlideShare and add it to your LinkedIn profile.
• Be a giver
a) Send a useful resource to your new connections or offer to make a relevant introduction.
b) Thank the organisers via email or social media channels.
• Personal development
a) Read Carmine Gollo’s book “Talk Like TED”, which explains how to create and deliver memorable talks.
b) Sign up to local Toastmasters to improve your public speaking skills.
c) Watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk “You body language shapes who you are”.
a) Review the goals you set for the event.
b) Acknowledge personal achievements, big and small.
c) Internalise your successes by rewarding yourself.
1) Getting your voice heard at professional events requires stepping out of your comfort zone. If you practice and improve your speaking skills, you can generate greater influence and inspire others to follow suit.
2) Show genuine interest in those around you. Attending conferences provides great opportunities to connect with like-minded people. When speaking to anyone, take a moment to consider “How could I be of help to this person?”
3) Always make a point to follow up with people you met at the conferences. This way you will be growing your network of useful contacts who might be of help to you at some point in the future (eg. some of them may become your collaborators or mentors).
If you are not yet using LinkedIn, or you are “just on it” but not sure “what’s the point”, join FREE “Linkedin Secrets for Doctors” webinar at 8pm on Tuesday 9th June.