1. Be very clear why you want to attend an event. What do you want to achieve or get out of it? It can be as specific as meeting with so-and-so or non-specific like just to get inspired and be in the energetic company of doers. Having a clear objective is a sure shot way to getting what you want. You know what you are going after.
An example that can sum up the importance of focus is the following lines from ‘Alice in Wonderland’:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ said Alice.
That depends on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where,’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.”
2. How prepared are you to attend an event? Do you have your business card ready? Another big question is, is your business card telling a great /different story? Once the noisy event is over, you will only have your calling card as your reminder. You want the prospect to call you back and give you a meeting. Is your card giving you the extra push for the same? Please think about it. A business card is a small but an effective strategy since the early days. As entrepreneurs, we have to sell all the time, and what better occasion than an event with diverse people and opportunities? And let’s not forget it’s always a great conversation starter. Try it.
3. How are you converting leads for yourself in an event? Let’s not forget that people are more committed to their own ideas than your ideas. They are trying to achieve their objectives as you are, from the event. The smartest people I have seen turn their own ideas into the idea of the person they are pitching to, selling to or meeting. How do you do that? By listening to people; actually, by genuinely listening to what they are saying. You will be surprised how easily you can pitch in an event where everyone is so open to anything and anyone. You can simply stand out by being a good listener. Listening will arm you with the right ammunition of aligning your objective with that of your target prospect.
4. Make yourself stand out. How? Practice. As the legendary Dale Carnegie once said, “There are always three speeches for every one you actually gave: the one you practiced, the one you gave and the one you wish you gave.” Practice. Practice your pitch, talk, conversation openers, one-liners… you never know how handy it will be. Soon, this will come naturally. Standing out in a crowd has to be practiced. Nobody is born with it. Talk to people and give them your full, undivided attention. Don't fake.
5. Ignore the extra-confident, over opinionated and the always-in-a-group people, who seem to know it all. Their extra confidence can be discouraging, especially if you are a lone ranger in a big party. Walk confidently with a smile. Trust me a big smile will get you through most people. Yes. Even a Ted talk, talks about it!
6. Don’t praise a speaker like everyone does. Be different. Say something like, ‘I totally loved what you said but don’t you think the problem is actually much deeper and it requires individual answers?’ Don’t try this until and unless you are very sure you have something genuinely different to add. It can get you the right attention but can surely backfire too.
7. Sure-shot NOs
- Don’t look around while you are talking to someone.
- Don’t speak too much. Many times we are nervous or we take someone’s interest as a welcome sign to go on. Please, please keep your conversation simple, crisp and to the point. Ask it out. You will be surprised how you might just get it.
-Ask shamelessly. At the most, you will get a no, but please ask. And that brings to the first point, be clear in what you want, you might just get exactly that.
This is an edited version of a post originally posted at http://yourstory.com/, by Shradha Sharma. You are free to re-edit and repost this in your own blog or other use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License terms, by giving credit with a link to www.startupcommons.org and the original post.
Supporting startup ecosystem development, from entrepreneurship education, to consulting to digital infrastructure for connecting, measuring and international benchmarking.
Subscribe for updates
Startup ecosystem development updates with news, tips and case studies from cities around the world.
Are you interested to join our global venture to help develop startup ecosystems around the world?