As you may know, it is sometimes imperative (or at the least, valuable!) to network as a lawyer. For that reason, I recently read up on best practices when networking.
Below are the most useful tips I garnered from reading Susan Roane’s book, How to Work a Room, in both video and text forms:
- Consider bringing a buddy.
- Arriving on time minimizes stress from being in a crowd.
- It’s rude not to respond to an RSVP request.
- Plan both event activity and follow up.
- Always bring cards.
- Read professional journals for conversation topics.
- Use other people’s stories, and prepare jokes. Don’t complain about things.
During the Event
- A good self-introduction lasts 7-9 seconds, begins with your name, and establishes what you have in common with other people at an event.
- Look for people standing alone.
- Try to behave as a host (meeting people, starting conversations, introducing others, and making sure people’s needs are met) rather than a guest.
- Try to have a little banter ready.
- Ask relevant questions, but not too many.
- Ask groups if they don’t mind if you join them. No one ever says no to this, but don’t do it if people’s backs are to the room.
- Excuse yourself by saying “Nice to meet you,” followed by a summary of the conversation.
- Thank the actual host before leaving.
After the Event
- Send physical thank you/condolence cards, not texts or emails.
- Consider making a rolodex of contact information.
Everyday (and additional notes)
Use Twitter. Follow people. Add thoughts and links to valuable articles, videos, and information as Tweets, and retweet others.
Susan Roane has a chapter on speaking for an audience too, and one on trade shows.