Do Your Homework

In yesterday’s post I admitted that I wasn’t perfect (and it disturbs me to no end that no one tried to contradict me 😉 ). The nice thing is, others can learn from my blundering.

I’m only doing this as a community service. Really.

So, today’s lesson is on the importance of doing your homework. If you are going to an event with a speaker, please, please, please, at the very minimum, do a quick Google search so you know a little bit about that person. Trust me on this one.

On Thursday I attended an event called “The Abundance Forum” put on each month by my sales coaches, Joe Marr and Mike Wynn. They always have a speaker at these events. This time it was Shawne Duperon, a coach who helps people develop relationships with media professionals and, further, present themselves in the best light in the media.

I hadn’t done my homework.

When Joe introduced Shawne and me, I completely betrayed my ignorance. Despite the fact that she had a table of her video presentations behind her, I asked her what brought her to the Forum. When I finally realized my gaffe, I blurted out, “Oh, you’re the speaker today!”

Yes, truly my finest hour.

Unless you really want to relive my discomfort, the next time you are attending an event with a speaker, take five minutes to get ready.

  1. Do a Google search on them. If they aren’t very famous, you might have to limit by geographical region.
  2. If they have a blog, read the most recent few posts.
  3. If they are on Twitter, read their most recent tweets.
  4. If you can find a picture of them glance at it so you will know them on sight.
Fortunately for me, Shawne was quite gracious at my clumsiness — a sure sign of a great networker. She was also a well-informed and passionate speaker. If you get the chance to see her, be sure to be in the audience. If you get a chance to chat, ask her about her PhD studies — in gossip! I know I’m looking forward to running into her in the future.
Maybe next time I won’t be smacking myself in the forehead afterward.
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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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