The Holidays are Here — So Start Networking!

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with reciting famous lines from "A Christmas Story" at holiday parties. Or declaring that you’ve just tasted the world’s best Eggnog. But, don’t forget to add a little business talk to the mix by networking.

A national business consultant offers several tips for putting a networking twist on your holiday celebrations. Here are a few:

  • Have a plan of action before you go. Find out who will be attending the event. Do some research online or on social networking sites like LinkedIn to learn about attendees. Pick five people with whom you definitely want to speak while you are there, and don’t avoid the big names. 
  • Let them do the talking (you ask the questions!)
  • Be prepared to pitch yourself in 15 seconds. Think about what’s unique about what you have done. Be sure that whomever you speak with will still remember you at the end of the night.
  • The party may end, but your connection shouldn’t. Cement your connections by creating a database that allows you to keep track of all the connections you’ve made. Include interesting or remarkable things people said or that you learned so you can refer back to them in later conversations. And be sure to use social media to keep in touch.