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~
(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~
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.
The other day I opened up my email and saw the most unusual message. No, it wasn’t something to enhance my manhood or a message that I had won an international lottery. It was a message titled, “Networking for my wife.”
I was curious, because it was sent to an account that the spammers hadn’t found yet, and it also came from the contact form from my freelance business website. The name and address were also unfamiliar.
Once I opened it and read the short but direct message, I was flabbergasted. To paraphrase, the sender (someone I did not know) introduced himself as someone following me on Twitter. I later checked and he had literally just started following me before he sent the message. He must have then gone to my website and saw that I did online marketing and design work and inferred that I could help his wife, also a designer find a job. He even included a link to her portfolio.
It made me start to think about networking and I wondered if this was a new trend. I understand that technology has advanced so that we are now able to connect to one another instantaneously, but it’s still not a substitute for building a real relationship before asking for something, like a job – for your wife!
So I came up with my three steps for networking online:
1. A Follow, a Like, A Connect does not mean we know each other. Tweet me, ask me a question and best of all give me a compliment to start the relationship. In essence, start it like any other human, real life relationship.
2. Reach out to me on multiple mediums to really get to know me. If we met on Twitter, then follow me on Instagram or Pinterest. If we are in similar fields find me on LinkedIn or if you think we could be friends in real life friend me on Facebook to keep the conversation going.
3. Let’s get to know each other offline. Let’s schedule a phone chat, Skype call, or better yet if I am somewhere near you, then let’s meet for coffee or lunch.
After all of that, then you can ask me to help you find a job or your wife a job!
Melanie Sklarz creates strategic, smart and social online solutions for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Her passion is crafting a solid brand and promoting it through online communications and community outreach.
Networking is all about communication. You’re communicating not just with the things you actually say, but with the clothes you wear, the actions you take, and the way you move. Truly effective communicators understand how all of these things work together to build a consistent personal brand. Not only does your body language impact the message you give, but in the Ted Talk below, Amy Cuddy explains how our body language can actually impact our own feelings about ourselves. If you’re looking for a way to boost your confidence when networking and interacting with others, check out what Amy has to say about your body language. Give it a shot and let us know if it makes a difference for you!
I want to share a story with you that was the inspiration for this blog post.
A couple of weeks ago I was helping a friend do some stuff at her parents vacation home. As we sat on the front porch, I couldn’t help but notice a dark green antique bench. She must have seen me admiring it because without being asked she quietly said, “you have no idea how many miles that bench has traveled….thousands and thousands.”
I paused to try to figure out what she meant. Her family was born and raised in the area so I was a bit confused. Again, without prompting, she said, “That bench was my grandfathers. He worked at the railroad station most of his life. When the station was renovated, he brought that old bench home. My sisters and I sat on that bench for more hours than I can count and traveled the world. It was a car, bus, boat, horse and of course a train.”
I was so moved by watching her relive that fond memory. Not only the memory of her grandfather but also the memory of the hours she spent with her sisters traveling the world in their imagination. Making up characters, dialogs and adventures.
That was weeks ago and her story has stuck with me. At the risk of sounding old, I have been reflecting on the way kids played in “my day.”
If you are like me, you played outside the majority of the daylight hours. There were no gadgets or gizmos. There was chalk for drawing & hopscotch, bats & balls, dolls & strollers, bikes with baseball cards in the spokes and friends & imagination. We learned to interact and connect. We learned to ask for what we wanted, introduce ourselves to new kids, settle arguments and look each other in the eyes.
I can’t help but wonder what the effects will be on the children of technology. Our “Gen Z” kids (born 2000 – present) are born into a high tech and highly “connected” world. They do not know life without things like the internet, instant messaging, email, text messaging, iPods, smart phones and tablets. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a bad thing- just different. Road trips now consist more of movie watching than playing “eye spy” or “find the different license plates”. In any restaurant you will see more electronics at the table (including parents on their cell phones) and less tic-tac-toe on the back of the placemat.
Many years from now, when our kids are the new batch of employees, employers, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs and professionals, how will they fair when it comes to networking? Will they struggle with one on one communication? Will eye contact make them uncomfortable? Will critical thinking skills be high but empathic listening suffer? OR…..
Will they be sharper than all the generations before them? Will technology be the glue that binds them? Will networking as we know it fail to exist?
Only time will tell.
As for me, I will continue to love technology, learn something new every day, network both face-to-face and digitally… all while telling my kids how I did it in the “good old days.”
I’d love to hear your comments….
Thanks for reading!