Are you intentional about the stories that you tell? Last Thursday I presented to the Flagstaff Communicators group about Maximizing Your Networking and Referrals. I shared what not to do when making a first impression.
Do: Tell a compelling personal story that illustrates one of your best qualities
Do NOT: Share the story about that one time you got arrested for acting like an idiot
Ok, that may be overstating it a bit. But how often do you start telling a story at a networking event without any forethought into what the story says about you? This is probably a more common issue among extroverts. Or anyone once they have had a couple of glasses of free wine. However, this advice about intentional storytelling could be even more valuable to you if you prefer not to speak up. If you are only going to share one thing, make sure that what you share gives the other person an insight into what you value and what you care about.
It is difficult to build a relationship based off of meeting someone at a networking event. Usually you just leave with a handful of business cards and a headache. However, if you can share a personal story with each person which speaks to who you are and what you care about, you will leave a lasting impression. We remember stories. And we feel connection with people who share our values. Sharing an intentional story is a way of shouting MARCO in a crowded pool to find that one future partner who knows to answer back POLO!!