Lessons In Etiquette: Networking 101

Hi Guys! I know last week i didn't have a topic per say but that's because i did a review on the Macadamia Natural Oil Shampoo and conditioner from Hairtrade . We all have to mix with other people in one situation or another . If you work in the Creative Industry especially where they have parties for literally everything ... sometimes you need to know how to address these people . This was actually inspired by Clinton Kelly in "Freakin Fabulous" .

Dress Accordingly : I am not gonna lie , sometimes i get invited to events and i have no idea what to wear . A perfect example is The M.A.C Media Party last month. There i was in pink while everybody else was wearing black!!! How could i not have known ...this falls under cosmetology and generally anybody who works in this field wears black!!! I recommend doing research , see if you can find pictures of past events , ask people who went to the last event what the dress code was like. Also , ladies ... most of these events though they are fun be discreet  in your outfit . You are not going to a brothel so maximum cleavage and dress and skirts that border your ..."area" are not appropriate. Sometimes Less is Truly More.

The Introduction : This is the daunting part , actually getting in to tell a group of people who you are . To do this simply approach the group ... wait for a lull in the conversation then politely introduce yourself with " Hi / Excuse Me ... I'm ____________ From _________ . If you know their name start with that . If there is a person in the group you already know lightly ( i said lightly) touch them on their arm to indicate that you want to join.  I use M.A.C again , i was having a conversation with the Project  Manager for the M.A.C Jamaica store and another local Jamaican business owner and out of the blue this lady came in the middle of the conversation and was like "So what are you talking about" , of course the conversation stopped because we were all thinking that she was rude and of course it had nothing to do with her . To avoid that .. be polite and wait for a lull in the conversation. Also try not to be too "chatty".

The Wine : For some strange reason they always give Red or White wine at these events . Maybe they want to get everyone drunk , i really don't know what it is . The wine is usually "non-stop" once your glass is halfway a server will come and pour more wine just "like that" ( snaps finger) . I know that i can't handle liquor so i only have one glass then give back my glass as an indication that I've reached my limit . People , People please ... it's not a party , its really a business event so bear that in mind. You don't want to be so drunk that you don't know where you are or you are making passes at everybody there . Know your limit!!! I'd say .. 3 glasses maximum. Even if you can hold your liquor , you'll look like an alcoholic at the event . Also , hold your glasses at the stem , you know that skinny part? Wine is supposed to be served chilled , if you hold it at the wider part, it will become warm like your body temperature . At first it feels really weird holding it at that part , but it takes a little practice to get it right :-)

Business cards : A great way of marketing yourself at these events is to issue business cards to people you've actually met . Do not just walk up to random people and start giving out cards as if you are passing out fliers in Half Way Tree!!! A great way to do this is after you've been formerly introduced and about to leave , end by saying " Here is my Business Card , please contact me if you have any questions" . Also , even if you don't have professionally made cards , make sure that they are clean and the information can be read.

Exit Gracefully :  You've had a lovely engaging conversation with your new acquaintance . Try to wrap things up in a diplomatic format . This is usually done after you've handed out your business card . Start by saying:
" It was really nice to meet you , my business card has all the information you might need in case you need to set up a meeting" . Remember to smile and say " Enjoy the rest of your evening " and also address the other members of the group.

To my Jamaicans enjoy your heroes day. Let's use this one day to not only rest rf whatever we choose to do , but also to truly reflect on those 7 people who fought so we can live comfortably in our country :-)

I really hope that my tips have helped at least one person today . As i always say , there are tonnsssssssssssss of other tips , but these are the ones that have worked for me .

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