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Saturday, July 26, 2008

So your networking worked. Now what?

By Bruce Newman

Mid-Atlantic Bureau Chief
(New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, West Virginia, Virginia)

I have started compiling a list of different networking organizations in my territory. At this point, I have only spoken briefly with a few of them. Once my list is more complete, I will provide it in one of my monthly columns. If you know of a networking group (in my territory) that would like to be listed, please have them email me at: .

This month’s topic: So your networking worked. Now what?

What good is being a good networker if you can’t do a good follow-up? From personal experience, I can attest to the frustration of successfully networking to obtain a meeting with a key prospect, only to be undone by a co-worker’s really bad presentation. Having recently attended a networking meeting in which the main speaker, Debbie Fay, gave an excellent presentation on how to present – do’s and don’ts, I asked her if she would share a few key presentation elements. Debbie wrote,

1. "Be You, Be Quiet, and Be Connecting." Be yourself. You don’t have to be funny to be effective. Be quiet: watch out for non-verbal and verbal behaviors that can become so “loud” that the audience can’t hear your message. Things like fiddling with clothing, tapping a pencil, ums and ahs, you knows and I means, can be hugely distracting to your audience. Instead of uming and ahing, pause regularly to let the audience absorb your points. Be connecting by making eye contact with members of the audience and anticipating the audience's mood. For instance, if it's lunchtime, cut your presentation short. You’ll be a hero.

2. The "Rule of Threes" - Leave the audience with three main points to remember. At the beginning of your speech tell what the three points are. In the body of the presentation, describe the three points, and at the end summarize the points. In a sales presentation, don’t try and illustrate more than five benefits of your product or service.

3. Big, Bold, and Brief - PowerPoint presentations should be "Big, Bold, and Brief". Rely on graphics to make your points. The text on the slides should be suggestive but not self-explanatory. Don't read the copy to the audience - they can do that. Expand on the copy. Ideally, every visual aid should act as a synergistic component. It plus you, should equal more than either one of you could alone.

Also, don't distribute hand-outs until the end of the presentation. Once you give an audience reading material, all heads will go down. You want all eyes on you; give handouts at the conclusion of your presentation.

(Debbie Fay is the president of Bespeak Presentation Solutions,, specializing in speaking and presentations.)

Networking Announcements – Special Events

Any networking group or organization that has a special meeting or conference they wish to announce, relevant articles or topics they wish to discuss, or would like to be featured by me (if possible), please email me at: .

Mid Atlantic Networking - Wednesday, July 23 2008, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

This special event will feature Don Tolman, speaking on Self Care and Self Education. Don't miss Don's incredible insights and fascinating delivery of information that can change your life!

Bruce Newman is the Vice President at The Productivity Institute, LLC ( which provides prodinst by matching the specific software products and services needs of companies to rated outstanding consultants who can meet those needs. Any company that wishes to improve their productivity can sign up for this free service and be contacted by up to five rated outstanding consultants.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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