Are you the bowling ball or the pin?

That’s the intriguing question posed by Keith Ferrazzi, author of a great book on networking called “Never Eat Alone.”

While most networking books are rehashes of the “meet and greet” style of networking or the more enlightened strategic approach to networking, Ferrazzi blows other books away. Here are a few nuggets:

1. When you are at a conference do you make things happen, or do you wait for things to happen? That’s where you can answer the bowling question. I’m a pin. I intend to be a ball.

2. Forget small talk. Be bold. Talk about things that matter because you will connect with people. I hate to think how many conversations I’ve had that began “So, how was your flight,’ or “So, when did you get in?” Only to be followed near the end of the conference by “So, when are you leaving?” Small talk is for small people. Talk big and bold. My view is if people can’t connect on big issues, then you are best not connecting with them.

3. When you are at the conference, set up your own mini conference. In other words, get a group of like minded people together and have your own lunch. If I have one more large round table lunch stuck between two people who are more boring than sin, I’ll scream.

In this spirit, if you are going to the National Speakers Association conference in Atlanta and want to get together, send me a note:

“Never Eat Alone” is a good read, filled with nice anecdotes and stories. It is not nearly as preachy as I am here!

Dan Janal
Your Fearless PR LEADER