Independent Thinking Blog

How Not to Start a Conversation

I received a two-paragraph e-mail the other day from someone looking to connect with me at an upcoming event. She spelled my name right, told me it’s her second time going to an event put on by this particular group, and said she hoped we’d get to meet.

So far so good.

But then paragraph two, in its entirety, read:

“Advancing organizations and individuals toward clear communication to produce and present best products and services using best practices…”  I’ll look for you Thursday to wrap up my elevator speech.



Please don’t pitch me. Talk to me instead.

I like networking events because I love to meet new people. Find out what makes them tick. Who they are when they’re not in default work mode. Sure, we’re all selling something. But we’re not all buying the same things.

You can’t sell me if I tune you out. So strike up a conversation instead.

Postscript: When I emailed that I was happy to meet her but to please leave out the elevator speech, I got a mea culpa. She’s going to ditch the speech so we can have a genuine conversation.

See, it’s really not that hard.

Photo by Marcin Wichary (Flickr).

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