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The Art of Speed Networking

Venk Potula gives advice about selling yourself when you don't have much time to prepare.

(courtesy of Microsoft Office Images)
You're an actor. Or a writer, director, entrepreneur, businessman. Whatever you want.

One of your idols walks into the room, let's say James Cameron. You've only got 30 seconds of his valuable time. How do you make an impression?

A random run-in is different than an audition. With an audition, you have a set up time: the director and casting director are expecting you.

But what about those crazy situations where you're in the grocery store buying your fat-free milk, and the guy waiting in line behind you is a producer for Warner Brothers?

You may be the most talented actor out there. But you need to know how to network. Quickly. I mean networking in 30 seconds to 1 minute.

In this article, I will talk about a skill I've observed: speed networking, and share my speed networking tips.

Always be prepared. Do you have a resume and headshot with you at all times? How many business cards do you have in your pocket? If any of these items are missing. Get them. Now. And give it to your James Cameron. Physically.

Always ask to help, never ask for a job. Let your James Cameron know that you can help them. Make it seem like an advantage to him or her to have you on their project. You'll have to work for free at first, but it all pays off in the end.

Dress well. Always look decent. If you look like a hobo, no one will want to talk with you. It's all about how you present yourself. First impressions are everything. If you look and act like the guy who is on top of his career, then even if you cry yourself to sleep every night because you can't get a part, nobody will be able to tell.

It's not about making a good impression, necessarily. It's about making a strong and memorable impression.Look. You've only got 30 seconds. Find some way for James Cameron to remember you. Say something appalling. Do something strange. Make them remember you when they're taking a shower later that night!

Everyone has his or her own ways of networking. These tips are quite general. The most important thing is to be who you are. Find your own style and be aware of what kind of impression you give off.

This might sound strange, but sometimes I ask random people what their first impression of me is. They're weirded out at first, but I get an answer. And it helps me get a better feeling of what random, normal people think of me. I use it to my advantage.

Use this article to your advantage. I wrote it for you. Speed Networking. Start practicing.


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