How do you want people to perceive you when you’re out speaking about your business? Polished? Casual? All business? Fun-and-games?

It’s worth thinking about the impression you want to make – and about how to make that happen.

I ran into a real estate agent the other day who must have wanted us to think she was in 7th grade.  She sat at a conference table with a dozen professional men and women twirling … and then actually braiding her hair. 

I’d put those little-girl habits on the Networking No-No’s list, wouldn’t you?

And you can put endless self-ing right there with it.  At an event where everyone had 60 seconds to introduce themselves one woman in direct marketing went on and on … and on. Ignoring the moderator’s first three attempts to thank her (and stop her). People were looking at each other, rolling their eyes. And the woman was oblivious.

Sometimes people think it’s to their advantage to squeeze in as much self-promotion as they possibly can before they’re finally cut off.

They’re wrong.  It’s much classier – and more effective – to say just enough to use the time well and then zip it.  The person who keeps going beyond that sounds sales-y and pushy.

Best to keep in mind that the point of networking  meetings is to open relationships, not to close a sale. Give people a reason to want to know more about you and your business.

And then be sure to follow up and give them what they want!