Be Memorable: Tip 1 of 10 Making Connections Matter

Be Memorable

It sounds fairly easy, doesn’t it? Oddly enough, many people picture doing something kooky or class clownish to get noticed or remembered. And if you’re Amy Schumer that might work (her pratfall in front of Kim & Kayne at the Time 100 Gala did wonders for her raising her profile internationally), but the rest of us need to take another tack, especially in the professional world.

Make peace with small talk

I want to frame my small talk suggestion around the idea that good manners never go out of style. In many ways, being able to start and continue a pleasant conversation with another person is essentially about good manners.

In fact, I realize that before many of the reluctant networkers (about 80{60023c7b1960a5fb9dae172379ca3153ba00fa4679a2b03978f428523be766b5} of the world, according to my informal surveys) can even think about good manners, they first need to get comfortable with small talk and that comes from practice, practice and more practice.

Therefore, I recommend that you practice your small talk in lower risk situations, such as the Starbucks drive-thru window, with the cashier at Macy’s, while along the sidelines of a game you’re watching, or waiting in a line for practically anything.

At this point in my presentations I usually tell a story about my husband and the drive-up window at Starbucks, but you’ll have to see me live to hear that one.

Also, asking a question about the place you have in common – the one you’re both at – is always an easy way to start the required small talk. Another favorite of mine is to ask the Target pharmacy staff that stand on their feet all day, “So, how’s your day going?” Try that one with anyone in a service role (even on the phone) and you’ll be surprised how the dynamic of your interaction changes for the better.


Maya Angelou Quote

Another easy opener, that often leads to a painless exchange of small talk, is to ask others what motivated them to attend the event you’re both at out of all the events going on that week. Talking about the event you’re at is the one sure thing you have in common, just like at a wedding when everyone there is connected to at least one of the people getting married. Who hasn’t sat a table of 10 and had an easy hour or two of storytelling around how you all knew the happy couple?


If you focus on learning about the people you meet and not your nerves, you’ll take the pressure off yourself. And if you try focusing on what you might be able to offer others in the form of stories, contacts, ideas, knowledge or resources, in response to the conversations, you can relax and be remembered for being helpful or a great listener.

As Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

And, for the love of hummingbirds, please SMILE. I’m not referring to a cheesy, Cheshire cat grin, but a pleasant “smize” (if you know how to smile with your eyes), or even a non-threatening look on your face will go a long way in creating a great starting point for a positive and memorable exchange.

Have a clever intro

Practice using a clever or unique introduction whenever you can. This isn’t an elevator pitch; it’s more along the lines of a personal branding statement. Try something like, “Hi! I’m Theresa. I’m the official corporate back watcher at Acme Partners.” Yes, Heather’s in HR and she always gets at least a smile when she says this as she’s shaking someone’s hand.

Another good example:

“I’m Mary Smith, a website designer over at Byte Me Creative where we help small businesses and solo entrepreneurs learn to love their websites again.”

Stand out to be “seen” and remembered

Lastly, and believe it or not, another way to be memorable is to wear something to the event in a bright color or that is unique, such as a shirt with a print or pattern. You’ll be easier to point out during the event and even be remembered after the event when you send your follow-up note stating, “I’m the gal that was wearing the polka dot blouse,” or “I’m the guy with the purple golf clubs on my tie.”

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10 Networking Tips to Boost Your Business: Tip #1 Be Memorable
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