Kirby Tepper, president, American Public Speaking Training
1. Recognize that every holiday event is a potential networking possibility. Take advantage of every office party, neighborhood event, and extracurricular church activity to be a promoter of your business. What a great way to meet people and let them know who you are. You’ll meet new people, solidify relationships, and do something good all at the same time. Also, be careful how much you drink at Christmas parties. You never know what kind of damage you can do by acting inappropriately at an office party or other function.
2. My favorite public speaking/networking tip for the year is: Say yes. Say yes to every volunteer opportunity, to every brown-bag lunch meeting, to every mixer organized by your local business community organizations — and get up and speak! Say yes to helping anyone in your business or community who asks for your professional assistance, and say yes when called upon to speak — however briefly — about yourself and your business. Doing this can reap fantastic rewards.
ALSO: Read Kirby Tepper’s full-length interview from November 2011, Profitably Speaking.
Peter Shankman, CEO, The Geek Factory
1. I always keep an extra suit at the ready, because you never know when something’s going to come up at the last minute. Remember the James Bond edict: Always look your best.
When you go to holiday parties, bring extra business cards and be prepared to write down information about those you meet without business cards — a little reporter’s notebook and pen come in handy.
2. Network — then network some more. Don’t think of networking as something you do only on specific occasions. Networking is a 24/7/365 process.
ALSO: Read Peter Shankman’s full-length interview from June 2011, Marketing Yourself: Think of the Obvious, Then Do the Opposite.