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I don't know about you but I really hate those networking events where you get one minute to put your pitch, then you listen to their one minute spiel, frantically swap business cards and move on. I never knowingly attend them but occasionally I get caught out and find myself in the circle of wordage doom being herded around like a sheep!

It definitely brings out my naughty child and I hear myself saying ridiculous things, which has conclusively proved to me that no one is really listening anyway, just concentrating on their up coming moment of glory! Sometimes, if I'm really lucky, I'll encounter a fellow renegade and we'll slope off together to chat in a corner and leave the one minute spielers to their fun.

So, what follows is nothing to do with awful networking events but is an exercise to give some thought to how you present yourself to people.

First Impressions
I occasionally use this exercise on my women's courses, like RenewYou; you might like to try it yourself.

Think of three scenarios when you might encounter someone on whom you wish to make a good impression. These might be:

a person you are attracted to
someone you think could be a great mate
a person who may be a potential employer or new client
your old teacher
your child's prospective in laws
new neighbours

In each scenario what are the key facts  about yourself you'd like to get across? What impression would you like to leave them with? Rather than sentences you could try out a few adjectives about yourself.

And then next time you get stuck in a circle of wordage doom you can easily fill your minute! But make sure you don't accidentally lurch into your 'person I fancy' spiel! Although, on second thoughts, it probably won't matter as very few are really listening!

Jane C Woods
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