Archive for August, 2010

Why we all need a self worth and confidence building tool kit!

August 24, 2010

How we react to incidents in our life can have dramatic effects on our self esteem and confidence. More often than not though, our confidence plummets and the negative self talk creeps in. Even the most successful people have bad days or days when things don’t go to plan. It’s how we bounce back from these disappointments that matters. From time to time we need different tools to re-boost our confidence and increase our self worth. You may find the following tools helpful on the days when your self worth needs a boost

VALUE  YOURSELF

 –Your achievements – we are great at dismissing our successes. “Oh, that was last month, this month I am nowhere near my targets.” “Yes, that was last year, I have not achieved anything like that this year”.

– Your failures and mistakes – sometimes the failures are blessings in disguise. And from many failures come better ways to do things.

– Your networks – keep your networks active by making regular connections. LinkedIn is the perfect tool for reactivating lapsed connections and keeping people up to date with your current projects.

-Your background – those early years form the foundation of who we are today. Be proud of your family history, no matter how dysfunctional or crazy it may appear to others – it gives you the ability to empathise with many, understand what it is like to walk in their shoes and cope with enormous amounts of pressure in many cases.

-Your life experiences – an interesting exercise is it list all the places you have lived in for more than 3 months, all the jobs you have had, all the partners you have had serious relationships with, the countries and locations you have travelled to. What an extraordinary life you have lived. Consider starting a journal where you commit to write minimum 100 words each day. Consider this writing as a legacy for your great grand children.

-Your courage – how long is it since you did something for the first time. Remember it is okay to fail – if you aren’t prepared to fail you will never grow.

BE GRATEFUL:

-Develop a gratitude attitude –

-Say thank you regularly – thank you are two of the most powerful words in the english language, next to a person’s name

-Laugh often – make it a daily habit.

– For the negative experiences as well as the positive –

– For your creativity and remember to use it every day

– Always have a plan B strategy – just in case

BE PRESENT:

-Make heart to heart connections

-Be open to synchronistic connections – they happen continually – when you stop fighting the flow. The next time something doesn’t go to plan, trust that all is in divine order and accept the situation.

-Forgive yourself for stuffing up, making mistakes, saying inappropriate things. It’s done. Learn from the mistakes and move on.

-Ask for help before you need it – this is a really important one – we don’t have to be super heroes – and know how to do absolutely everything – we can admit to needing help.

-Say no without feeling guilty

Not sure which tool you need today?

Please tick all the tools that you know you have mastered already. Congratulations!

 Now highlight the first three tools that you will put in your tool kit today and commit to work with this month. Knowing that once you master those tools, you can then select another and another. .until every item has been ticked, your tool kit is full and all the tools are used so often they are almost worn out. As you master each tool, remember to celebrate your success and progress along life’s path.

Enjoy the journey of life – you never know where it may take you!

Remember the window of opportunity is so clear, that sometimes we miss it.

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Master networker’s guide to self esteem and confidence building

August 23, 2010

You’ve read the articles, the books, listened to the CDs, attended courses- but still that niggling self doubt creeps in whenever you walk into a room full of strangers. Maybe you have all the networking tips you need, you just have to think about YOU and believing in you a little more than you already do.

Here are some tips that might assist you on your confidence building path.

* Have a dream and believe in your dream. Networking can open any door in the world for you – you just need to know which door you want to walk through.

*  Commit to a daily 5 minute healthy habit to boost self esteem and confidence, where you ask yourself :

– What was my win – what did i do well today – no matter how small an achievement it was?

– What was my oops – what mistake did i make, what did i learn from making the error and can i be sure I won’t repeat that mistake? Sometimes you can’t be absolutely sure it won’t happen again – but maybe you will just be more aware when similiar circumstances present themselves.

– Who did I empower?  Was there someone whose path I crossed physically, electronically or over the phone today – who felt a lift after the connection? Did you complement someone, encourage someone to stretch their comfort zone and assuring them they will be fine? Did you give someone recognition for a job well done? Did you encourage a child to have a go? Everytime you see someone’s name on a name badge, use it – watch how their face lights up. Empowering others is easy when that is your intention.

-Who did I allow to disempower me? Maybe you have a person in your life who bugs you – and you constantly give your power away everytime you connect with them – by giving them so much focus or attention. Sometimes this is a work mate or family member – so you run into them often. Rather than giving your power away continually, why not try changing the way you respond to that person’s action. Next time observing the action or hearing the smart comment, you might choose to respond – “that’s interesting” or “you might be right” – neither comments are agreeing with the person – but either comments will shut down the conversation – without you losing your power. Many times you will find YOU are the person who is disempowering you continually. Our self talk is often the single thing that undermines our self worth e.g. I can’t go to that networking event, I don’t know anyone. I can’t talk to that stranger, what will I say. There is XYZ, we met at Sue’s birthday party – I am sure they won’t remember me, so I won’t embarass myself by even talking to them etc…

The more we value ourselves, the higher value others place on us.

* Create a personal success log – record your daily wins.

* Complete a personal skills analysis. List 100 things you are good at. Add to this list continually. Include all sorts of things you are great at – cooking lasagne, remembering phone numbers, writing reports, playing with your nephews, listening to your mum tell her stories over and over – all you need is 100 things to get you started. Be warned depending how you are feeling about yourself today, this might take more than a few days to compile. And that’s just fine – the longer it takes, the more you will be focussing on the positive you – and it’s about time you did that! 

 * Create a gratitude attitude – I first heard this expression on the Oprah show. Be grateful for everything – even the yukky experiences – because you learn from all of them. Recently I was at an airport talking to a friend, who was moaning about the blisters on her feet, from her new shoes….moan, moan, moan. A person came through the terminal on crutches and on closer inspection – had had one leg removed from the knee down.  I drew my friend’s attention to this person and made the comment – “That person would love to have your problem blisters – be grateful that you have the money to buy the shoes in the first place.” Have’t heard from that person for awhile. What i have found is that sometimes people just love to moan about life in general and they will always find something to moan about. However, if your self esteem is low, you can very easily get caught up in the pity party. 

* Understand the power of affirmations. Identify the significance of slight language changes for maximum results. Remove. ‘But, I have to…’  and replace with “I choose to”…..

* Choose to move from the wish list to the master plan – what would you do if you knew that you could not fail? Stop imagining what you can’t do, and think about what you would like to do. Energy follow thought – what you think about is what you create in your life.

Networking events are often filled with people worried that they are wearing the wrong clothes, have the wrong business cards, said something silly to that last person they spoke to, they forgot the person’s name and they only just told it to me – how stupid am I etc. etc. Basically more than 50% of the room are worrying about worry.

My recommendation for the next networking event you attend is to have one goal only – HAVE FUN! If you do make a mistake, laugh at it. Act like the host, not the guest. Enjoy yourself –  and believe it or not, people will be attracted to you not because of what you are wearing or saying – but because you are letting the real YOU shine through. Just be yourself. Take all the pressure you normally put on yourself, off – breathe, be friendly, smile and most of all –

BELIEVE IN YOU!

 To those who believe – anything is possible.

Conversation skills for shy and nervous networkers

August 23, 2010

Extract from the book – How to Master Networking by ROBYN HENDERSON

 Mastering the art of conversation can help you to become a more effective networker. Many people have an absolute fear of talking to strangers and this fear is generally unfounded. When some people arrive at a networking function, possibly they may feel a little nervous because they may not think they know many people attending. For some its as if they leave their personality at the venue doorstep.

They are unable to start or finish conversations and usually have a miserable time. They leave vowing to never return and avoid those networking events at all costs. However, back in their comfort zone, they can express opinions on just about anything and rarely allow themselves to feel intimidated by anything or anyone.

 So we may surmise that it is actually our nerves and fear of meeting strangers that sometimes gets the better of us at these events. Therefore to improve my networking skills, it will help dramatically if you work on improving your conversation skills.

 Think about some of the better communicators in your networks, what makes them different? Is it that they:

     *      listen to your answer

     *      allow you to finish your response without interrupting

     *      make eye contact

     *      genuinely act as if they do care about your answer

     *      somehow make you feel special

     *      follow up when they say they will

     *      often offer helpful suggestions to you, but not in a know-it-all fashion

     *      can often remember snippets of previous conversations you may have had

 The one thing that each of these great communicators do, is they make a heart to heart connection with you. This is not in a romantic sense, rather  they focus on you and the conversation you are having together. Whether there are 1 or 5 people in the group, they are focussed on the general conversation. They are not distracted they are “in the moment” or “in the now”. When we speak from our heads, we often become flustered and nervous, stumbling over words. We are so worried about what we are going to say next, or what that word means, or am I wearing the right clothes, etc. . etc. .  All this head stuff happening and anyone having a conversation with us, just thinks we are uninterested in their answers and distracted.

 When we make that heart to heart connection, we listen actively to the conversation. We don’t have to worry about what we are going to say next, because when we are listening, we receive lots of cues for responses or more questions. Often if we are quiet  long  enough, we can even learn lots of things.

 Think for a moment of the last time you had a conversation with someone over the phone and you knew, possibly by the background noise or by their distracted manner, that they were not listening to you, their mind was elsewhere. They were definitely not in the now.

Now think about a phone conversation with someone who was in the now and listened actively and with a focus. More often than not, the conversation was quality not quantity. You both kept to the point, said what you had to say and agreed on an outcome. Conversations at networking events are no different to phone conversations, we want to feel that the person we are speaking to is in fact listening.

 Effective networkers have a belief system that every single person that they meet is incredibly interesting and has much to contribute to any conversation. They may have a couple of open ended questions prepared, e.g.

     *      What was the highlight of your weekend/day/holiday?

     *      What tips would you give someone, who has never attended one of these events before?

     *      I may already know someone who could do business with you, what

            would your ideal client look like?

     *      Whats your opinion of . . . ..

     *      Whats your favourite. . . . .. restaurant, movie, sport

     *      Your …… looks great, where did you buy your . . .. , (jacket, tie, shoes, etc.)

     *      What do you like most about your.. . . .. . job, home, living in . .. ., etc.

 Once the conversation starts, it generally flows, when you focus on that heart to heart connection. The key to  making the connection is basically you are treating people the way you would like to be treated. If you knew everyone in the room and a stranger walked into the room, what would they be hoping someone in the room would do? Befriend them of course, just as they would do if positions were reversed.

So the next time you see a person standing alone and possibly looking a little nervous or out of place, talk to them.

“Hi, my name is Robyn, mind if I join you?” or even better, catch their eye and invite them to join your group.

 If by chance you befriend someone who does not want to join in your conversation, thats okay, at least you extended the hand of friendship to them.  If all of this conversation making still sounds a little bit daunting, take heart. Every day aim to have a quality heart to heart connection, even for only 60 seconds with someone who crosses your path. Maybe it will be the newsagent, the garage attendant, bank teller, supermarket check out operator – basically any stranger you come into contact with. Ask a general question and listen to their answer with your heart, not your head. See how easily the conversation flows.

 Don’t be surprised if pretty soon you are receiving compliments about being a great conversationalist.  Trust me, with a little practice, you will start to see yourself as the interesting person that other people see you as.

How to create your life of choice in 2010

August 23, 2010

When the market is tight, your diary has gaps in it and you are not as busy as you would like it to be, consider spending  45 minutes on a little self reflection to snap you out of the pity party. Step away from the computer, turn off your phones, email etc. and just spend time with YOU – no interruptions. Here is your plan for the next 45 minutes (or more if you wish):

*  Decide to change one thing about your life – just one

 • Make a list of things that make you happy – minimum list of 100. Resolve to do at least 3 of these things each day for the next 21 days – don’t deliberate, just write.

 • Make a list of how you will know when you have created your life of choice  – what will that look like. If you don’t know where you are going, anywhere will do.

• Diarise when you choose to relax and recharge – make sure you don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for taking time out.

 • Replace “I have to” with “I choose to” •

 * Start de-cluttering your life  – it’s amazing how much “stuff” we collect

•  Don’t’ be a doormat – stand up for yourself and state your boundaries

• Realise that it’s okay to make a mistake- as long as you learn from your mistakes

 •Develop a daily habit of acknowledging your WIN for the day – no matter how insignificant the win may appear to you

• Ask yourself these three questions:

*  IF THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS, IS THIS GOOD ENOUGH?  – makes you realise everything is OK!

* IF I KNEW I COULD NOT FAIL, WHAT WOULD I DO? – if you are not doing it now – when will you start

*  HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? – when we decide to live a more simple life, we can choose to give more and expect less.

Let’s finish with a Carl Saga quote – “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

HOW TO NETWORK YOUR WAY TO YOUR NEXT BOARD APPOINTMENT

August 11, 2010

It’s not what you know – its who knows what you know!

 Why do we continue to see the same names popping up on boards throughout Australia and New Zealand? What do these people know, that the people wanting to secure board seats don’t know? Is there a shortage of opportunities? Well you only have to read the financial pages to see the highs and lows of board members and chairmen alike. One thing for sure and certain, is that you have to be visible, a strong decision maker, be prepared to make the tough calls and undergo public scrutiny.

 So have you got what it takes to got on a board? Lets look at 3 key areas that may assist you to secure your first or next board appointment.

BE PREPARED TO ASK FOR HELP.

Identify all the people in your network who are currently on boards or have held board seats in the last five years. Highlight the names of those people you would feel comfortable phoning and asking for a ten minute phone meeting. Now you might be thinking, you would prefer to take that busy person to lunch or dinner, and chat in a more relaxed manner. Maybe you give your contact that choice. But I can assure it is no fun for the person being questioned as they try to eat a meal whilst being on the end of a barrage of questions. More often than not, their food goes cold, they get indigestion and it’s not exactly a pleasant experience for them. And in this time poor society, you are probably not a major priority for them and lets face it, they can buy their own lunch any day. Yet asked courteously they will be more than happy to give you phone time. Your call might go something like this, “Mary, I am keen to get on a not for profit board in the charity area, I know you have been on XX board for sometime, and I was wondering if I could arrange a phone appointment with you to ask you 3 quick questions.”

 When your objectives are clearly explained, often you will receive your answers on the spot – which saves both of you time. However, if the appointment is confirmed, don’t be surprised if it may be cancelled once or twice. Remember this is a priority for you, not for them.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOUR PHONE APPOINTMENT

Be courteous enough to know as much about this person as possible. Know which boards they are currently on, the ones they may have resigned from and any challenges within the industries they currently represent. It could be considered a serious waste of their time if you have not bothered to research and prepare for the call. And this may reflect badly in the future, should they ever be asked to give you a reference or testimonial. Don’t waste their time with stupid and obvious questions.

 BE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR QUESTIONING

Prepare your questions as succinctly as possible. Write them down and refer to the list as you go. Write notes, don’t think you will remember everything particularly if you are a little nervous – you are bound to forget something important.

Be direct, but avoid confrontation. Remember, they are helping you and giving freely of their time. Your questions may include a brief background summary. With their agreement, you may even pre-send a brief resume and your questions a couple of days before the phone meeting. The busy person may not read your information word for word, but they are generally impressed with your professionalism.

 Your questions may include: 

  1.  
    • How did you get your first board appointment?
    • My situation is this, I am experienced in these areas, I am keen to get on boards in the YYY area, what should I be doing to increase my chances of being considered for a board?
    • I have set a target of obtaining XX board appointments in the next XX years, is their anyone else you would recommend that I speak to, that may be able to offer a different perspective? And may I mention your name when I make contact with them?
    • What have you found to be the biggest obstacles to getting onto boards?
    • Is there a downside to being on a board?
    • Other than a financial gain, what specific benefits have you experienced?
    •  If you were me, what would you do in the next 6-12 months to increase my chances?
  2. Final question – I am very grateful for your time today, is there anything at all, in any area of your life, that I could possibly help you with today? (don’t’ be surprised how simple a request you might receive at this time.)

 Be mindful of the time, you have asked for ten minutes and it is not your call to extend the time unless this is offered to you. Always, always, always send a thank you note – thanking the person for their time and making reference to one or two points that you will be acting on. Remember also to keep them in the loop with your progress – this doesn’t mean weekly calls, but it does include a quarterly update, either written or posted.

A wise person once said that your Network is your Networth – this certainly applies when it comes to board appointments. Happy networking!

10 Questions to Track Your Networking Progress

August 11, 2010

Same old, same old – can become the death of your networking results. Many of us being so familiar with our networks, that we never move out of our comfort zone enough to try new things, habits, events or systems.

So, if you feel you might be getting a little stale with your networking results – here are 10 review questions to ask yourself within 24 hours of attending your next networking event.

1. If this is as good as it gets, is this good enough?

2. Is attending this network still working for me?

 3. If I knew I could not fail, what would I do?

 4. What do I want in my business in the next 12 months and was there anyone at this network, who may be able to help me? Sometimes we are so busy chatting to our mates, that we forget to meet others.

 5. If I can’t achieve this by myself, whom can I ask for help and how soon will I do that?

 6. What can I do to help the people who are helping me?

 7. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen if I don’t achieve what I want in the next 6 months, and can I cope with that? If the answer is YES, I can cope with that – then basically you have nothing to lose!

 8. What one thing will I do today to make sure I receive a maximum Return on Investment from attending that networking event?

 9.  Which three people, whom I have met/reconnected with at this event, would I like to form an important part of my national network?

 10. How can I nurture their friendship? And what can i do specifically this week to progress that friendship?

It’s amazing how comfortable and safe we can become with our networking habits – rather than constantly moving out of our comfort zone – at least once a day – and expanding our networks.

You may like to schedule these 10 questions every quarter to ensure that you don’t become a lazy networker, confused why their networks results are just not happening.

 

WHAT DO I SAY AFTER I SAY HELLO?

August 11, 2010

There are lots of people out there who have an absolute terror of talking to strangers. This fear however, is generally totally unfounded. Strangers are just friends we have not met yet!

Some arrive at a networking function feeling a little nervous, because they don’t know many of the people attending. This often causes them to leave their personality at the venue doorstep. They are unable to start or finish conversations and usually have a miserable time. They leave, vowing never to return and to avoid future networking events at all costs.

Comfort zones

However, back in their comfort zone, they can express opinions on just about anything and rarely allow themselves to feel intimidated by anything or anyone. So, we may surmise that it is actually our nerves and fear of meeting strangers that sometimes gets the better of us at these events. Therefore, to improve your networking skills, it will help dramatically if you work on improving your conversation skills.

Think about some of the better communicators in your networks. What makes them different? Is it that they do any or all of the following:

  • listen to your answer
  • allow you to finish your response without interrupting
  • make eye contact
  • genuinely act as if they do care about your answer
  • somehow make you feel special
  • follow up when they say they will
  • offer helpful suggestions
  • remember snippets of previous conversations you may have had

The one thing each of these great communicators do is make a heart to heart connection with you.

This is not in a romantic sense. Rather the listener focuses on you and the conversation you are having together. Whether there are one or five people in the group, they are focused on the general conversation. They are not distracted. They are “in the moment” or “in the now”.

When we speak from our head space, we often become flustered and nervous, stumbling over words. We are so worried about what we are going to say next or what a word means or whether we are wearing the right clothes etc., etc. With all this head stuff happening, anyone having a conversation with us just thinks we are uninterested in their answers and distracted.

When we make that heart to heart connection, we listen actively to the conversation. We don’t have to worry about what we are going to say next because, when we are listening, we receive lots of cues for responses or more questions. If we are quiet long enough, we can even learn lots of things.

Think for a moment of the last time you had a conversation with someone over the phone and you knew, possibly by the background noise or by their distracted manner, that they were not listening to you. Their mind was elsewhere – they were definitely not in the “now”. They were possibly trying to do two things at once including checking their emails. Then, think about a phone conversation with someone who was in the now and listened actively and with focus. More often than not, the conversation was quality not quantity. You both kept to the point, said what you had to say, and agreed on an outcome.

Conversations at networking events are no different to phone conversations. We want to feel that the person we are speaking to is in fact listening. Effective networkers have a belief system that every single person they meet is incredibly interesting and has much to contribute to any conversation.

Key to making connection

When you focus on that heart to heart connection, once the conversation starts, it generally flows. The key to making the connection is basically that you are treating people the way you would like to be treated yourself.

If you knew everyone in the room and a stranger walked into the room, what would they be hoping someone in the room would do? Befriend them of course, just as they would do if positions were reversed.

So, the next time you see a person standing alone and looking a little nervous or out of place, talk to them. Say, “Hi, my name is…, mind if I join you?” Or, even better, catch their eye and invite them to join your group.

If by chance you befriend someone who does not want to join in your conversation, that’s okay. At least you extended the hand of friendship to them. Good networkers usually have a couple of open ended questions prepared. Here are a few examples:

  • What was the highlight of your weekend/day/holiday?
  • What tips would you give someone, who has never attended one of these events?
  • I may already know someone who could do business with you. What would your ideal client look like?
  • What’s your opinion on…?
  • What’s your favourite…? restaurant, movie, sport etc.
  • Your… looks great, where did you buy your…(jacket, tie etc.)?
  • What do you like most about your…job, home, living in…?
  • Tell me about your ………..job, day, career, family

 Great conversationalists practise all the time. Even though they dont attend networking events all the time – they do interact with people – whether its in a supermarket, bank, post office, newsagent, petrol station – these are all potential opportunities to communicate with strangers. The more you practise being in the moment and present with the strangers you meet, the more you will improve your conversation skills.

Finally, anyone will speak to you for 20 minutes if you are not speaking about yourself.

What NOT to do when attending networking events

August 11, 2010

We read lots of things about what to do at networking events, but here is another take on the DON’Ts – this is what NOT to do at a networking events.

*  Unless you are the host, you do not have to speak to everyone in the room when there are more than 20 people attending. Do not “work” the room. And if you look like you are working the room – you may radiate an air of desperation – this is to be avoided at all cost. It is much better to have a number of quality conversations with the people that cross your path. Leave a positive image with these people and they will spread the word for you. And more than likely introduce you to the people that you are wanting to meet.

 * Don’t leave early unless it is absolutely necessary. Some of the best networking opportunities happen when you arrive early and leave late. If the event is promoted 6pm-8pm – arrive as close to 6pm as you can – and definitely avoid being the first to leave.

 * Don’t monopolise the conversation – networking is about sharing ideas. Sometimes when we are nervous we babble and fill the conversation with useless chatter. Act like the host – and allow others to speak. Good networkers listen more than they speak.

* Don’t forget the golden rule – in the networking environment we earn the right to gain business by doing something for someone else first. Don’t expect people to place an order with you purely because you have introduced yourself to them. You must earn the right to ask a favour, earn the right to gain new business. Dont’ sell at networking events, just connect, build trust, take the focus off you and put it onto the other person. Find out what you can do for them – rather than what they can do for you.

 * Don’t treat the 15-second self-introduction as a two-minute commercial. People will switch off and you will leave a negative impression. Practise introducing yourself in a clear “easy to remember” way.

* Don’t jump in when there are pauses in the conversation. Pauses are fine – let the other person jump in first. It may be that they are thinking about their answer, who knows they might be as nervous as you are.

* Don’t interrupt – only prisoners like to be interrupted in the middle of a sentence.

Networking accounts for more than 85% of business in the marketplace. So if your aim is to attend one networking event each week – make the most of that opportunity – have fun, connect and always follow up.

How to improve your decision making skills

August 9, 2010

STRONG LEADERS ARE CONFIDENT DECISION MAKERS!

                                                                                                                                               

 “Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore.”  anon

        Decision making is an important life skill –        Can you make decisions quickly?   

        What is stopping you from making decisions quickly?

        Is decision making associated with FEAR for you at times?

 a.  Fear of making a mistake

b.  Fear of getting into trouble

c.  Fear of not being liked

d. Fear of feeling inferior

e Fear of feeling or looking stupid

 SMART DECISION MAKERS KNOW IT’S OKAY TO MAKE A MISTAKE!

“Most of us are not prepared to overcome our failures, and because of this we are not able to fulfil our gifts. It is easy to stand for something that does not carry a risk.” The Dolphin – story or a dreamer – Sergio Bambaren

 FIVE STEP DECISION MAKING TECHNIQUE IS:

 1. STATE THE PROBLEM

 2. STATE THE FACTS

  3. STATE THE  REAL PROBLEM

4. LIST THE OPTIONS – BOTH OUTRAGEOUS AND MAINSTREAM

5. PICK THE OPTION WITH THE BEST OUTCOME BASED ON THE FACTS YOU HAVE

Hot Networking Tips for Attending Conferences and Conventions

August 9, 2010

1. Business Cards – remember to take plenty! Ring the orgnaisers to find out how many people will be attending.

2. Where possible arrive early,  and leave late.

 3.     Liaise with fellow staff briefly at the start and end of the day. Under no circumstances sit “with your work mates”

 4.     Make notes on the back of the business cards you exchange. This will work as a memory jogger when you are meeting lots of people. If taking photos, make a note of names as you take the photo and match against the number in the film – this will avoid confusion down the track.

 5.     If the conference is held over a few days and most people are staying at the convention hotel, consider taking a number of postcards of your home city. These can be written at the end of the day and delivered to the room by the hotel. “Great to meet you during the breakout session today, hope you enjoy your time in Christchurch. Our membership profile will be waiting for you on your return to Auckland.”

You might then choose to include a complimentary function ticket when you follow up after the conference – this will encourage your new contact to come to your network/organisation’s events.

 6.     Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd – do the things that others don’t do.

 7.     Diarise time post conference to give yourself time to follow up. Allocate at least 1-2 hours for every day the conference was held.

 8.     Have quality conversations not quantity

 9.     Always send a thank you card to the organisers.

 10.     If you find the speakers interesting/entertaining talk to them after their session or when you see them throughout the convention – who knows where that may lead.

 11.                        Finally – HAVE  AN OPEN MIND AND MOST OF ALL – HAVE FUN!