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Action, Interaction and Reaction from the Ritz team

Mastering meeting & greeting

Posted: April 5, 2012 - 6:30 PM ET - by Elisabeth

I’m excited to be headed to TEDMED next week. It will be four days of inspiring thinking and fascinating people. In between dozens of amazing speakers, there will be 1,000 attendees to meet.

I’ve talked with friends and colleagues, and it seems no one is completely confident about walking up to a stranger and striking up a conversation. However,  there are some things to remember that may help me – and you  – do just that with a little more confidence.

  • The woman standing alone in the corner or the man at the buffet table is as uncomfortable as you are; he or she will be relieved by your approach and introduction.
  • If you’re that woman or guy, make yourself approachable … put away your smartphone, smile and make eye contact with people around you.
  • TEDMED tries to make it easy to connect. They’ve asked each of us to name three inanimate objects that define us. They’ll put those on our name tags, giving us a thought-provoking reason to ask questions and get to know each other.  Literally and figuratively, it’s a great approach. Asking a question is an easy way to engage someone else – whether it’s what they do, how they enjoyed the last session or whether they’ve tried the chocolate chip cookies on the buffet table.
  • Listen to the response. Be sincerely interested. Relate something you’ve heard or read to their answer.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to share, briefly, information about yourself and your business.  In marketing terms, that’s an elevator pitch … and I read recently that the average elevator ride is 118 seconds.

    So, I guess I’m ready to approach the situation – and other people – with a smile and a question. Now I just need to pack!

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