ACS Webinars: Networking 101—Make your contacts count
Sep01

ACS Webinars: Networking 101—Make your contacts count

Networking is an art that requires practice to develop. On Tuesday, ACS Webinars hosted Bonnie Coffey, a speaker from an organization called Contacts Count. Bonnie spoke to audience members at the ACS National Meeting in Denver about professional networking. Thanks to ACS webinars, folks like myself who are not in Denver right now could watch the live webcast. If you missed it on Tuesday, you can watch the recorded webcast online. In my previous post on networking, I presented several tips for making connections with other professionals, namely those pursuing careers you’re interested in. I mentioned how professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, or even a simple google search, can be used to find people you want to talk to, then you can follow up with emails, conversations, or informational interviews. Bonnie’s talk  focused on the face-to-face networking that takes place during events, such as at conferences like ACS National Meetings. In this blog post, I'll discuss the advice Bonnie has for up-and-coming scientists for building their network and getting into meaningful face-to-face conversations with other professionals. So, you’re at a networking event and you see someone you might want to talk to. You go up to them and say “Hi!” What’s next? Bonnie describe three key moments, or things that happen when you meet somebody: You exchange names You ask: “What do you do?” You ask: “What’s new?” or “What’s going on?” The Name Exchange We can all empathize with this situation: You introduced yourself to someone, they told you their name, then 30 seconds into the conversation you realize you’ve already forgotten their name. How embarrassing! To better ensure that you’ll remember someone’s name after they’ve shared it with you, Bonnie offered the following tips: repeat that person’s name, ask about their last name (if they didn’t offer it), then look at the person’s nametag (if they have one) so that you have the visual to imprint that person’s name in your memory. Then when you share your name, go slowly and break it down. Take a breath between the first and last name. This is what Bonnie calls this the Forrest Gump rule: “My name is Forrest, Forrest Gump.” My name is Christine, Christine Herman. Got it. You can also use business cards during the name exchange portion of a conversation. Bonnie recommends wearing a jacket that has two pockets: one for holding your business cards, the other for holding the cards you get from others. But what if you tried your bestest and you still forgot the person’s name? It’s okay. Instead of saying, Doh! I forgot your name! What’s your name again?, just say: I...

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