It's 10:47 p.m. and I am on a packed train from London. The train is buzzing full of people young and old, some suited and booted returning from work, and others returning from a night out.
I am returning home after attending a networking event. The event consisted of a drinks reception followed by a fine dining experience. As a working mother, I limit my evening events, but I am attending three this week. Networking events are like busses, they all come together. I will try my best to have a maximum of one night out next week to balance out this week's networking excess.
During dinner we all had to introduce ourselves, 'ask' for something we wanted from the group, such as a connection, or a type of client and state a 'give', something we were willing to offer.
There were 25 people in the room and I thought that it would be interesting to share with you, what made some stand out more than others for me. This is personal and subjective, but I am sure there is some learning for us both within it.
1. The Comedienne
Most men know the power of humor to seduce a woman; there are fewer women who employ humor in the same way. I found that those who were able to incorporate comedy into their introduction definitely stood out for me. A little laugh makes you feel good and even if you don't remember the joke, you connect happiness with the person who made it.
2. The Story Teller
Some people are fantastic storytellers and are great at weaving one into conversation even if it seems utterly unrelated. They have one story after another in their back pocket. If you are a storyteller, use your stories, they have the power to take people on a journey with you and leave your audience wanting more.
3. The One who Doesn't Know When to Stop
Funnily enough when you exceed the time given for you introduction you are also memorable, but not necessarily for the right reasons. Much more useful to be short and snappy, the last thing you want to do is lose your audience's attention. Remember you can't say it all, give a taster and then you can connect later to give your full life-story.
4. The Eye-Catcher
Some people stand out because of what they wear -- animal print and bright colours are ways to help you be memorable -- be bold. A bodycon dress will catch the eye of women and men, so if you've got it, flaunt it, as long as it's appropriate for your context.
5. The Name Dropper
This person drops into their introduction that they been on TV, been connected with a famous name, or mentions the word 'millionaires' and suddenly others ears prick up. Good on them for leveraging their network and PR.
6. The Tear Jerker
Whether they are sharing their journey, passion or current experience, those who show vulnerability and passion are able to connect at a deeper level than others. If you are emotional, don't hide it; instead use it as a strength.
7. The Odd One Out
There was only one man at the event I attended so he stood out. If you end up being the odd one out, make it work for you, talk about it, make a joke out of it, and say why it's so good.
Ultimately you will be judged on your introduction, particularly on how congruent you are. Does your delivery match what you say that you can do? Do you instil confidence in others? Make yourself memorable and people will come back to you. But remember "The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity." -- Keith Ferrazzi
I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role - the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com