Do you want to be part of your profession’s Inner Circle? A great way to start is by being a part of a professional association. Here are eight things you can do to get involved.
1. Get to the meetings 15 to 20 minutes early. Introduce yourself to the other people who are there. They are likely to be the movers and shakers.
2. Give yourself a job. Look around and be helpful. Pitch in at the registration desk. Greet newcomers. Assist with the room set-up.
3. Ask good questions such as “What are you working on these days?” And “What are you looking forward to?”
4. Set a goal for the number of people you are going to meet. Be reasonable. You could exchange names--and cards--with lots of people, but you’d leave the event really not knowing anyone very well. If you talk in depth with 4 people you will accomplish more.
5. Learn people’s names and make your own memorable. To learn a name, repeat it: “It’s nice to meet you, John.” To make your own name memorable, repeat your first name twice: “I’m Anna, Anna Larsen
6. Know how to say what you do. In a short sentence, tell the thing you want someone to remember about what you do. In another sentence, give a vivid example of yourself doing that thing. Think carefully about what you want to teach people about yourself.
7. When someone asks, “What’s new?” have something interesting to say about yourself. Tell a story to illustrate what you do.
8. Always have an agenda. In advance of the meeting think of 3 or 4 things you would like to find out about or know more about. Also, be ready to tell 3 or 4 things of interest to people in the group.
Extra Credit: Say “Thank you.” Gratitude goes a long way in building good relationships.