Wear your nametag on your right side; this way, when you shake
hands with someone, your hand, your face and your nametag are all in
line with each other.
you are writing out your own nametag, make sure to use large, neat
letters! Feel free to just put your first name, as anyone who wants to
remember your last name or your organization will be able to find these
on the business card that you hand them.
Make sure to bring plenty of
business cards with you, and keep them handy. It often is easiest if
you keep a small number (15-20) in an easily accessible pocket, but
have a backup supply in a purse, coat pocket, laptop bag, etc.
Make sure to bring a pen
with you to any networking activity! You can use it to write down the
names and numbers of other people (especially if *they* run out of
business cards), or to briefly note what you talked about with someone
on the back of their card, while your memory is still fresh.
Networking events are more
often more comfortable if you attend them with a purpose; for
example “I’m looking for someone who can help my organization develop a
Six Sigma quality program”. This allows you to easily decide how much
time you want to spend talking with someone (rather than talking with
them just because they are willing to talk to you). It also helps you
broaden the conversation to acquaintances and connections that might
not be immediately apparent (“Oh, Six Sigma! My brother-in-law has done
a lot of work with that; let me give you his personal email address”).
When you meet someone, don’t
assume that they can read your nametag, introduce yourself. Take this
opportunity to talk about yourself for a moment; who you are, what you
do, what you are looking for, etc.
Always offer to shake hands
at a professional networking meeting. Handshakes are *not* a strength
test; grab their hand, but be gentle. Focus on making “web-to-web”
contact (the stretch of skin between the base of the thumb and the
beginning of the first finger).