Get Prepared to Network: Meet, Greet, Repeat

1 - Prepare to listen: It starts with being fully present. Tune everything and everyone else OUT — pay attention only to the person right in front of you. Periodically ask questions — don’t be a bobble head just nodding. Good conversation is two-way. 2 - Handshake: In our country, the acceptable greeting starts with a firm handshake. Women – show your confidence and presence by initiating the handshake. Here’s how: Move toward a person, arm outstretched, smile on your face and say “I’m happy to meet you. I’m Valerie Sokolosky. And you?” You’re off and running. 3 - Conversation: After the initial name exchange, move to a question. Here’s one suggestion — ask a question about their name. “Eric…there are lots of ways you can spell it…how do you spell yours? “Oh, that’s an unusual name. Were you named for someone? “What else do they call you?” “Kathryn…do you prefer Kathryn or Kathy?” Names give you an easy way to get into a conversation! 4 - Remembering … [Read more...]

Is Your Network Napping?

“Networking is not about collecting contacts. It’s about planting relationships.” ~ MiShi.at Simply put – relationships matter. When you have ‘related’ to a client by giving your best, you’ll be remembered. Just minutes ago, I was indeed remembered. The caller said, “Valerie, you’ve been referred by xxxx.” It turns out xxxx is a client from 10 years ago. That referral came from my sincere desire to stay in touch (digitally on this one) with those people I call “brand ambassadors” — those clients who know me and value our relationship. What matters is that you care enough to connect. Whether by phone, email or through social media, the point is to reach out — or there is no connection. Now the HOW! 3 Tips for Engaging Your Network 1 – KNOW WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO THEM Maybe it's a hobby. Maybe it's a passion, sport, or talent. When you know what someone likes or enjoys – it’s easier to send messages. Example: If a client is an avid reader, send interesting articles. Keep a … [Read more...]

4 Tips for Being Comfortable at Events

Research tells us that 60% of people in America are shy when it comes to attending events with a room full of strangers! Does that make you feel better? Additionally, 75% said they don’t know what to talk about and 40% are anxious even when they know people in the room.  So, if you aren’t comfortable socializing—you’re not alone. Try these proven tips that are part of my Professional Presence program. 1. Know your value. Recognize and appreciate your BRAND ATTRIBUTES that could include your talents, gifts, expertise and wonderfulness. Own them and walk into that room full of strangers knowing YOU have VALUE that you could bring to others. What are those things about you that someone might find compelling? What brand impression do you want to leave with new people in your life? How can you let others know where you shine? Don’t diminish those things that come easily for you and maybe not for others. Things like: You know a lot of people You have expertise in a subject You … [Read more...]

Presenting with Presence is An Art

Taking what comes at you from the audience and turning it to your advantage is an art. That takes practice. And skill. Some people have a gift for doing this - while most of us must learn the skills.   Here's a few thoughts on how to give a presentation with presence and be ready for comments. 1 - Cut to the chase. Rabbit trail discourse only chases the rabbit around the field.  If you're asked a question, know your content so well that you don't have to look at notes to give an intelligent answer. 2 - Be prepared. Know exactly what message you intend to give and stick to the facts - the fewer the better. The deck doesn't have to be huge - it does have to be targeted. 3 - Stop, think, then answer. There's nothing wrong with a pause to be sure you have heard, really heard the question. 4 - Listen intentionally and intently. If you're focusing on how to respond, it's too easy to misinterpret the question. And that can lead to rambling. And there goes your presence. … [Read more...]

Having A Positive Presence Counts! 6 Interview Do’s and Don’ts

We’ve all had to endure the “dreaded” interview. Have you ever left the interview thinking, “Did I do this right? Did I say that wrong? How did I look? Did I show my brand?" This is when having a positive presence counts! Your credentials are, of course, important—but a first impression with impact speaks volumes. You never know exactly what an interviewer is looking for; so let your brand, etiquette, and skills stand out. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind the next time you have an interview opportunity. Remember these tips, be confident, focus on your interview, and you’ll know if you did this or that right.   Do’s 1. Do research- Never “wing-it!” Know the brand of the company. With the internet at your fingertips, use online resources to your advantage. Learn, in advance, all you can about the company, the business, the culture, and the position. Use sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor to increase your knowledge. Impress them with what you … [Read more...]