How Embarrassing Can Networking Be?

How Embarrassing Can Networking Be?

Embarrassing things happen all the time but what do you do if you find yourself in the ultimate embarrassing situation at a networking event?  Networking events are the one place where we pride ourselves on putting our best foot forward; making that perfect first impression.

Last year, Moo.com asked their Facebook followers to share their most embarrassing networking stories.  As you will see, the responses ranged from the simple blunders to some pretty unusual errors in judgment.

Do any of these sound familiar?  Whether you have had your fair share of slipups or have nightmares about the possibilities, this will prove that at least you aren’t alone.

Pop on over to our Facebook page and tell us YOUR most embarrassing networking story.

See you there~

Michele

Mike…Mike…Mike….Guess What Day It Is!

Mike…Mike…Mike….Guess What Day It Is!

(Camel is walking through an office suite)

Camel:  “Uh-oh! Guess what day it is?? Guess what day it is! Huh…anybody? Julie! Hey…guess what day it is?? Ah come on, I know you can hear me. Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike… What day is it Mike? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Leslie, guess what today is?”

Since this commercial aired, everywhere you turn someone is referencing the Hump Day camel.  If you have not seen a pin on Pinterest, an Ecard on Facebook or received an email with a hump day camel reference, I dare say that you are in the minority (for which you should be thankful).

But let me ask you this…when you think about that commercial does your mind immediately go to the company it represents?  Is it an entertaining commercial that takes you a minute to remember the brand?  Do you remember the brand at all?

Now think back to another commercial you love.  It would depend where you are located geographically but here in the southeast the Publix commercials come to mind.  During the holiday season they have a few commercials with no words at all, just music.  When it hear that music (no matter where I am or what I’m doing) I immediately think of Publix.

The difference between the two has to do with how they make you feel.  Although both commercials are enjoyable, the emotions that they stroke and connection that they make are very different.

Now think about your personal brand.  When you network, meet people, attend luncheons or talk to others about your brand, how easily will they remember you days, weeks or months down the road?  Did you represent your personal brand in a way that will allow it to be an instant recall in their minds much like the wordless Publix commercial?  Will it be the enjoyable encounter that lacks the POP needed to be instantly memorable?

Taking the time to make a true connection is the difference.  A true connection can happen when you focus less on yourself and more on others.  So often we put the emphasis on telling others what we do and how our brand/service/product can help them that we forget to find out exact what their needs are first.  Ask questions, be curious, and learn about who they are and what they do.  When we take the time to do this, we create that something much deeper than the superficial exchange of business cards.  By being genuinely intrigued, you will produce that feeling for others which will create that memorable connection.

This may not come natural for you and that is okay.  Most good communication skills take time and practice.

Today, I challenge you to “ask more and talk less” – the results will make you happier than a camel on hump day!

Thanks for reading~

Are Baby Boomers Embracing Social Media?

Are Baby Boomers Embracing Social Media?

I am not going to tell you my age however I will tell you that the article, Baby Boomers and Social Media, held a lot of interest for me as it asks the question “When will baby boomers and social media become synonymous?”

I love social media!  My sister, 7 years my senior, doesn’t even own a computer.  People are shocked when they ask for her email address and she admits that she doesn’t have one.  Most of us can’t even imagine our day to day world without a computer, email, Facebook, Twitter and anything else we are addicted to on the World Wide Web.  Have you ever tried to “unplug” during vacation, for a single day or even for a single meal?  I don’t know about you but I tried and failed.  It was hard as hell.

Baby Boomer or not, this article will shed some light on the Pew Internet Project’s research related to social media. Give it a browse and let us know what you think.

Thanks for reading~

Michele

Marc Miller of Career Pivot is an author, speaker and coach for Baby Boomers looking to make a career change that better fits their lifestyle. This article was used with Marc’s permission. You can find Marc on LinkedIn and at www.careerpivot.com.

What is that?!?! A Presenters Final Check

What is that?!?!  A Presenters Final Check


 

 

 

Checklist:    

green check Research Done and Accurate….Check.

green check Presentation Complete….Check.

green check Hard Copies Printed….Check.

green check Room Prepared….Check.

wrong-check-mark Check your appearance in the mirror… ACK !!!!  There’s a stain on your jacket, shirt, blouse, or whatever you’re wearing to the    presentation.  The source of the offending stain doesn’t matter.  It’s there – large as life!

Act natural: Panic!  Quick, go through the list of standard questions:

Tide Stick?  No, too late, won’t dry in time.

Maybe they won’t see it.  I saw it.  They’ll probably see it. (Even if they don’t, you’d feel like you’re wearing a big sign that says: LOOK HERE à).

Do I have something else to wear?  No.  I didn’t think of that.  Led Zeppelin T-shirt in the car appropriate?   Probably not.

If you haven’t found yourself in this situation, you’ve probably thought about it.  Whether you’re teaching a training session, networking over lunch with a potential customer or client, meeting with your boss or trying to get your big project approved by the C-suite; there are two types of presenters.  Those who have done it and those who will.

Being a big guy, I am forever getting something greasy on my shirts – food, gasoline, actual grease, (this morning it was automatic transmission fluid), go figure.  Luckily, I’m not presenting today.

As a professional trainer, part of my pre-presentation preparation is to check my favorite shirt in a room with good lighting before I put it on.  Then I check it again in a room with different lighting.  Stains are sneaky, ya know.  My final step…..ask my wife.

If I’m very well prepared, I’ll take a matching set of clothes and leave them in the car.  Even if I get out of the house unscathed, it doesn’t mean I’ll make it through the day without a spill. You will never guess how many times I’ve had to think, “I wonder if they’ll notice that the polo shirt with the IBM logo that I was wearing now says 3M?  Nah~”

Here are some other tips I have tried:  Stay away from greasy, messy, and easily spilled breakfast items.  Stick to power bars, fruit, and water.  Avoid eggs, hash browns, doughnuts, coffee.  Don’t put yourself in a position where you can be jostled by other people.  I’m enough of a klutz myself, I don’t need help.  I even have a friend that wraps a napkin around her glass so condensation doesn’t drip on her.

Lunch – If I have my choice of menu items, I stick to the low risk items; easily handled, not too soupy, light on the sauces.  The goal here is to consume just enough sustenance to make it to through the rest of your day.  Quit while you are ahead.  If you are full(ish) and you haven’t spilled yet, Stop.  Murphy’s Law: It’s always the last forkful that will get you.

Things to avoid – BBQ anything!  Sloppy burgers, soups, copious amounts of salad dressing.  Anything with filling.  Get the point?

This brings me to the original idea for this blog.  Self-Adhesive Napkins! It’s one of those inventions I wish someone would develop, because I could use it. (Note: In case someone does develop this and makes their million, I want a lifetime supply delivered to my house as payment for my participation.)

Self-Adhesive Napkins = A medium sized napkin packaged up like a small wet nap, in a little pouch, perfect for the pocket or purse.  Large enough to cover your food catching zone, this napkin comes with an adhesive strip on the back to keep it in place.    Bonus: They can be offered in designer colors so the user can choose a napkin color that will complement their wardrobe.

I can hear the food snobs now:  “Well, that’s tacky.”  Is it not tacky and embarrassing to sport a big grease stain on the front of your shirt?  Is it less tacky to tuck your napkin into your collar?  You choose.  Remember, this is a practical tool, not a five star solution to impress Ms. Manners.

I hope these tips will help.  We all want to go out and be great all day every day.  It’s hard to be great with BBQ sauce on your shirt.

PS: To the entrepreneur: a case should be a good start.  I’ll let you know when I begin to run low.

We would love to hear your most embarrassing wardrobe malfunction story.  Share with us in the comments below, on the RFN Facebook page or on Twitter.

About the Author: Dennis Roberts is a Training Specialist at Columbia Colstor in Washington State. Specialties include: Master Certified Trainer through IVES, Class I, II, III Powered Industrial Trucks. Active member of ASTD since March, 2010. Original member of Red Feather Networking.

 

8/16/2013

 

 

4 Useful Online Job Interview Tips

4 Useful Online Job Interview Tips

Graduation is just around the corner and soon enough, you’ll be searching for the perfect company where you want to invest all of the knowledge and skills you’ve gained from college. But what they didn’t teach you in class is how to face an employer when they ask you vital questions during a job interview.

 

Based on a survey from GreenJobInterview, companies are now using online video interviews as an alternative approach of screening their applicants. If one of your potential employers asked for an online meeting, here are some recommended tips you can do to ace an interview.

 

Do it from home:

Although it will be online, it’s best to do the conference while you’re at the comfort of your home. Avoid conducting it while in public places where there are various distractions and noise. Find a nice, quiet room in your house. Take extra effort in tidying up the place so that you will get a good impression from your interviewer. Even when you’re at home, don’t forget to dress accordingly.

 

Practice makes perfect:

If this is your first time, seek help with your friends or family and try do a serious online video chat with them. This allows you to get used to the process and help you determine the areas that you need to improve on. Verizon wireless news center recommends the Job Interview Question-Answer app which “provides an opportunity to record your answers to frequently asked questions then compare your responses to those provided by a job interview coach.”

 

Familiarize yourself with your resume, the company, and the job description. Learning all the necessary information about the job, the business and your skills that will benefit them is a plus point for you. This will also allow you to be confident whenever they ask you pertinent questions related to the work you applied.

 

Set your devices in order:

Make sure that your internet connectivity is stable for a lag-free video call. Double check the webcam and the microphone if they’re in good working condition. Before they fire away the questions, ask first if they can see and hear you properly to avoid any miscommunications.

 

Observe proper posture:

Your body language is more obvious in virtual chat. The company might be using third-party software to record the entire conversation so bad physical habits like avoiding eye contact, playing with one’s hair, or checking your phone every now and then will clearly be seen. Make sure that you sit up comfortable all throughout the interview. Look directly at the web camera and not at the screen to create the illusion that you are having eye contact with the person you are talking to. Lean slightly forward but make sure you are not crowding the camera. You can also don’t nod or smile once in a while to show your enthusiasm.

 

Technology is changing the way employers seek future employees. And if we want to get our dream job, we need to be prepared at all times.

 

Do you have any other suggestions that you can share with fellow job hunters? We love to hear your thoughts. 

 

About the Author: Zoe Allen is a writer who focuses on new tech, business branding, startup companies and fashion and design. In her spare time she can always find time for playing rugby and she also maintains a passion for books.