Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Schmooze Or Lose

I love to schmooze. In fact, my wife says I'm the only person she knows who could work a phone booth. It's a natural part of my personality...and something I've found can make even a great presentation even more successful and lucrative!

Audiences love contact with celebrities--and trust me, if you've been asked to give a major presentation or keynote speech, you can consider yourself a "celebrity." Arrive early and stay late. Shake hands and look into faces. Connect with the crowd before you step on stage and they'll be in love with you before you even open your mouth.

Oh, and working the room doesn't stop when you step off the stage. Stick around and chat, sign a few autographs, let everyone who wants to shake your hand or ask a question get a little one-on-one time. (My experience is to set your mental clock to two minutes for each person--that way you're not still working the room at midnight!) You'll really make a lasting impression and you'll probably pick up some future business, too!

As one of my favorite speakers, Patricia Fripp, advises, "There is more business to be had from the connection with the audience members and contacts from the client organization than the greatest speech."

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