The Power of Networking – by Earl B. Heard

Sample keynote speech “The Power of Networking” by Mr. Earl B. Heard of BIC Media Solutions Speakers Bureau …

“Networking is getting together to get ahead. And the simple reason why we should learn the art of networking is to make our lives easier, happier, more peaceful and successful. I want to share some tips about networking that you can easily remember and pass on. Let’s take the word “network,” and I’ll list some memory joggers for each letter.

N: Never meet a stranger — It has always been vital to remember we never get a second chance to make a first impression. Always have a smile on your face, a firm handshake and a nice greeting.

Also, remember and use the person’s name, and be sure to have your own nametag on the right side of your shirt. This is so the name tag can be clearly seen when you shake with your right hand. Lastly, have a business card with your name and contact information. I recommend at least seven business cards for every hour you are at an event.

E: Enthusiasm — Nothing helps others remember us better and become more interested in us than showing enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn about them. An import-

ant trait about enthusiasm is being a great listener. Also, another “E” to remember — especially about listening — is to encourage the other person to keep talking. You can do this by asking questions. Another important “E” is empathy, because there is no better way to build a friendship than having empathy for others.

T: Thinking — One of the most important things to remember about being a great leader and a great networker is to think before speaking. Thinking is also important because by investing the time to think about an upcoming event, we can also plan on whom we want to meet and what we want to accomplish. Even more important than having something meaningful to say is to think about a meaningful question to ask. In short, planning ahead helps us get ahead!

W: Work — There is nothing that beats a strong faith and work ethic. When we think of learning how to network as an integral part of our personal and professional success, this means we need to work on learning our communication and networking skills. There are some great

books and articles about networking. Also, there are several excellent articles about networking in our “Earl’s Pearls” book.

O: For the letter O, as it relates to success and networking, I would add the words optimistic, outlook and others. Optimism goes hand in hand with enthusiasm, and outlook is how we look at things. I believe happiness is a choice, and so is our outlook on life. Also, the best networking is done by those who look out for others, not just for themselves. People will remember your generosity. It is true that givers get.

R: As for the “R,” the first word that comes to mind is “real.” If we want to be truly successful and great at networking, we must be real in our feeling and empathy toward others. We can fool some people some of the time, but we can’t fool all people all the time. When we are real, this means we are also really concerned about helping others. People are attracted to real people, and the cream always rises to the top. Also, as it relates to the letter “R,” I think of the word “respond.” When we make others No. 1, they will respond in kind. Second to survival, man’s greatest need is recognition, and a great network recognizes others.

K: When it comes to the letter “K,” I can think of a few words that are significant along the lines of networking. First, you should demonstrate kindness when you’re building relationships and networking with others. Smile and make eye contact. Again, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Also, keep the focus on the other person. Don’t brag about yourself during the entire conversation. Give the other person plenty of opportunities to share his or her story and insight.

Right up there with kindness is the word “knowing.” Know as much as you can ahead of time. If you’re going to an event, know who will be at the event and what companies they’re with. The more you know about a person, the better you can communicate and network. Also, the more you know, the farther you’ll go.”

For more information about networking or BIC Media Solutions’ speaker’s bureau, contact Earl Heard at earlheard@bicalliance.com or (800) 460-4242.