Networking Worst Practices

I’ve seen a lot of Networking Worst Practices in my 25 plus years of writing and speaking about the topic, but the worst of the worst is making an absolutely terrible first impression on a stranger in less than one minute by delivering an Elevator Speech from Hell! 

FYI … I prefer ‘Elevator Speech’ to ‘Elevator Pitch’. ‘Pitch’ sounds like you’re trying to sell something. No one likes to be sold to. ‘Speech’ sounds like you want to share some information. Even though the difference in connotation is subtle, it can impact the mindset of the person creating and delivering one.

Elevator Speeches from Hell happen when pitifully amateurs:

* Hand you their business card at the beginning of the conversation instead of waiting for you to ask for one at the end.

Talk too much and too long using too much jargon and an endless and list of what they do.

*  Lack vocal energy, enthusiasm, courtesy … or eye contact.

*  Turn it into a rambling unfocused monologue instead of beginning a concise dialog.

Don’t return the courtesy by asking you questions and actively listening to what you say.

*  And shifting quickly from networking into selling … and pushy, annoying selling.

We’ve all regretted talking to people at networking events who’ve done many of the above worst practices in such a short time. They quickly turn you off, branding themselves as idiots.