How to stand out at networking events

I love seeing people who are really passionate about their business when they introduce themselves at networking events. I’ve always  found it difficult to do the same myself though, even though I love what I do. After all, proofreading and editing just isn’t very exciting, is it?

I was proved wrong in a one to one session with Chantal Cornelius of Appletree earlier this week, which left me buzzing with ideas for at least a dozen different introductions. I was keen to try one out at my next meeting and it just so happened that Chantal was there too and had a surprise for me – a pair of sparkly purple deely boppers! I’m not really one for fancy dress but, as a Proof Fairy, I really should have some fairy-like accessories, so I donned the headwear and did my bit and it went down well. For the first time I talked about how I had helped one of my clients, rather than what I do – and of course the purple stars on my head certainly caught people’s attention!

I wasn’t the only one to do things a bit differently that morning; other networkers used props including an inflatable alien, a space gun, reindeer antlers, a space shuttle and a doctor’s coat to help them stand out. One member even went as far as starting a striptease act to grab our attention! (Luckily 40 seconds wasn’t long enough for him to get too far!)

I guess what I learnt this week is that you don’t have to be deadly serious to have people take your business seriously. Inject a little fun into your introductions and you’ll catch people’s eye. Make them laugh and you’re halfway to them wanting to know, like and trust you – and do business with you. You are unique, so use that uniqueness to make you stand out from the crowd!

2 comments to How to stand out at networking events

  • Absolutely excellent post! How true you need to create something that will make people sit up and notice!

    It’s easy to ‘switch off’ at networking meetings when you think the person is going to deliver another ‘bog standard’ promotional pitch (yawn), whereas even if you do something different like wave (or wear) a prop, and tailor the presentation to include an interesting story or case study, the interest value increases dramatically.

    And yes, good thing it was only 40 seconds (tough task) for that would-be streaker…

  • Well done for a great networking pitch yesterday, Alison, and for having the guts to wear the deely boppers! What you said and how you looked really made you stand out from the crowd.

    I’m thrilled that you found our session so useful. It’s really important to tell people ‘what’ you can do to help them, without putting a label on yourself.

    Keep up the good work!

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