OMG, Networking Is NOT About “Gift of Gab”!

I’ve been noticing something at networking events and I’ve got to comment, at the risk of offending someone.

People who think they are GOOD at networking often are NOT. On the flip side, people who think they are BAD at it, are doing better than they think!!

Please rethink what you’re doing.

This Really Happened to Me.

Recently I was approached at an event by a woman who is clearly excited about her new business. She walked up, started talking, handed me lots of promo material, took my card, and then walked away. I was stunned. I watched her “work” the room like that. Then she called me later asking to meet up. Uh, not sure I want to return that call. Would you?

Maybe I should call her back and offer her a little free advice, or better yet, some marketing coaching. Hmm. Continue reading

My Story From Wallflower to Enjoying Networking

Some people know me as that woman who leads networking workshops especially for introverts and anyone struggling with networking. It’s true, I’ve often led a workshop called Networking Secrets from an Ex-Wallflower™.

I’ve even led it at Harvard Business School (which was a gulp at first that turned out to be very fulfilling).

My behind-the-scenes story is that I really was a wallflower for a long time. In fact, I was that painfully shy, practically invisible kid all the way through school. For example, even though I was obsessed with making good grades, if I had to do an oral report, I would beg the teacher to give me an “F” instead of making me talk in front of the class. I can feel the queasiness just thinking about how it felt back then.

Continue reading

Can You Define Networking? It’s Not What You Think.

NetworkingNetworking is one of those maligned concepts that strikes fear in many hearts, especially introverts. In my workshop called “Networking Secrets from an Ex-Wallflower,” the first secret is to understand what networking actually is and isn’t.

In the workshop, almost as soon as I start defining what networking is NOT, people start to relax and say things like:

Oh, networking does not equal pain and suffering!! ~Mary

Once you know what it is, you will understand it’s kinda fun. If it’s not, you’re not doing it right. Continue reading

What Happens When an Introvert Interviews Another Introvert on Live Radio?

I was interviewed on the radio before my last networking workshop for introverts and now you can listen to it here.  (See next networking workshop)

On the morning of the live interview, with no advanced scripting or warning, I walked in to the DJ booth and the host, Chris Collins (shown right), immediately “came out” on the air as being an introvert. Love it!

So we chatted about how I might help him and others with their resistance to networking. It was not only fun, we covered many of my secrets in only 8 minutes.

Phew, for an introvert, being interviewed live without any conversation in advance, I was a bit nervous beforehand. And of course I said a few things I’d like to edit now but I bet I’m the only one who noticed that stuff. In the end, it was so fun that I felt like I wanted to go back every week. Hmm, radio ideas brewing.

Enough Stalling. Now You Can Listen…

Continue reading

An Introvert’s Style of Networking…with a Real Smile

This is an effective, brief, and fun slide presentation by a woman who has mastered the art of networking — in a way that works for her introvert style. No fake smiles here. No putting on an extrovert mask.

Introverts will love it, and others could stand to learn from her too. I wholeheartedly agree with her ideas.

Her networking steps are a perfect guide for job seekers and people who need to promote themselves to get more leads. Enjoy… Continue reading