This past Thursday I attended the Ottawa chapter of the Certified Management Consultants meeting which had the theme of networking. The meeting was in a real nice facility where Bitheads does business. It has a comfortable area for mixing and mingling and a theatre for the guest speaker Michael Hughes to present:
“Turning 3 minute Conversations into long term relationships and lasting results”
I was impressed by Michael’s content and presentation. As a toastmaster I couldn’t help but evaluate Michael’s speaking style and passion. I thought he did a wonderful job as a speaker and reinforced his points by getting the audience engaged in some short exercises. With his wealth of experience he had lots to share and he did it most effectively by breaking the information into manageable chunks.
I particularly liked Michael’s networking model that has 6 phases. He explained not only what needs to happen in each phase – he also identified the most common myths and hangups people have with each phase and what can be done to overcome them. Michael provides a free document summarizing his networking model on his web site – www.networkingforresults.com.
Mixed in with all the practical advice and wisdom was the really effective use of stories to reinforce his points. I especially liked his story of sitting down with the chairman of the board (his wife) to do a startup company review. I think all the small business entrepreneurs in the audience could relate to the struggles and desire to do better faster.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Michael to anyone who is interested in improving their networking skills. I really believe in Michael’s key point:
Put relationships first with a sincere desire to help and business will follow.