Say “No” to Networking Divas!

Speaker Interruptus. Time and time again, I have witnessed someone at the end of a speaker’s speech promote themselves when the speaker asks the group for questions. Unfortunately, the violator is usually oblivious to his or her behavior and does not ask a question, but quotes something from his or her own book and cites themselves as the expert. Not your turn to shine Mr. Violator and most of the room is thinking, “Who Cares?” P.S. – Statements are not questions whether they are about you or not. Another violator at a recent event threw someone in the audience under the bus for no apparent reason when the speaker asked for questions. First, this is not remotely relative to asking a “question”. Second, you just made yourself look like an A$$ in front of a whole group of people. On the other hand, when the speaker decides to use someone as an example in a demeaning way without their permission they look pretty darn bad. Most of these occurrences have been in the form of a public critique of someone’s posture, outfit, or elevator speech. Most of the victims of this type of behavior have never returned to the same networking event and most of the audience members will never do business with said speaker either.

Sales Stupor.  I have seen this one more than once at vendor tables, and the vendor violators are oblivious. This may seem obvious to my intelligent M-Dashers, but I feel the need to address it anyway. If someone approaches your table and specifically asks for a product or has a question about a service, show that project or answer the question. Period. Doesn’t that seem simple? If you go off on a tangent about your credentials without answering the question whatsoever, you look like a pompous idiot. If you ignore a product request and push something else … you are not going to get any sales.

Curb the Credentials. This networking diva is the one of the worst types of offenders. She goes on for hours about her credentials and why she is mistress of the universe, usually when someone has not event asked her about her work experience. Unless someone asks and it is relevant to the conversation at hand – no one really cares if you are mistress of the universe. Oh, and I have said this before, but if you have to tell someone you are America’s Expert of ABC widget and it is not household information, chances are you are not. Keep your ego in check.

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