The simple act of telling a story has become all the rage in the business world. There are websites, videos, blog posts and entire books devoted to the topic of storytelling.
Bios are being rewritten with an eye toward developing a good narrative, and business people across all segments of the economy are looking for new ways to incorporate this powerful strategy into their promotional materials.
But there’s one place where storytelling hasn’t yet seemed to make much of an impact. And that’s when we introduce ourselves at networking meetings and events.
I think you know what I mean: You’re at a networking event and the intros begin. No matter what has been set forth as the format that intros should take, most everyone seems to slip into what we have all become accustomed to: the old-fashioned custom of flatly reciting what it is that we “do.” This doesn’t serve anyone well and it doesn’t present the speaker to his or her best advantage.
What resonates and really gets our attention is learning about you, who you are. It might be the story of how you came to be doing what you are doing, the hobby or passion that sets you apart from the scads of others in your line of work or the single, pithy sentence that offers insight into the “real” you.
It may be a bit of a shift from what we are all used to, and, no, I’m not suggesting we walk around with clever openings up our sleeves. But cutting through labels and masks to the person behind them is a much quicker (and far more interesting) way to get to know someone and build a useful connection.
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- 15 Tips for Effective Networking
- How to Work the Room
- Stand Out: How to Identify Your Personal Brand, Part 2
Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.