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Networking 101 – Speak Clearly, Don’t Mumble

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Craig Harrison says that the reason that Networking may not be working for you is because of the basic 9 mistakes that Networker’s make. I will be going through these over the next few weeks and let’s see if this is what is holding you back.

The first mistake he says is “Bad networker’s mumble. A mumble is a speaking stumble, people mumble their name, their occupation and their titles all the time. Your name is irrelevant if we can’t hear it. You’ve been saying your name all your life so you may be bored with it, yet we may only hear it once. State your name clearly, slowly and in a way you can repeat it and remember it. It’s your lifeline to contact. Take care in stating it.”

This is one that I really struggle with! Over the years and with the help of sinus and other strange lurgies that we all seem to fall prey to from time to time, I have lost some of the hearing, particularly in my left ear. This often makes it difficult to hear, especially if there are other background noises. Even at facilitated Networking events, I find myself continuously asking people to speak up or start their presentation again or I have a need to ask them to state their names again. Often I don’t hear their names or what they do on the second or even third attempt – at this point, I usually lose interest.

This in turn makes them feel embarrassed and they lose their place or worse yet, they begin to stutter and stumble even more!

Perhaps it is because people are so busy trying to remember what it is that they want to say that they don’t realize just how softly it is that they are speaking. It might be a good idea to write everything down clearly and in the order in which you would like to deliver the points that you wish to make. That way you can concentrate on projecting your voice to every single person in the room and ensure that everyone knows exactly who you are, what you do and most importantly why they should be doing business with you or having you in their “circle of influence”.

Remember always, that if people can’t hear what it is that you are saying, they cannot recommend you or refer you, or even on occasion make use of your services or buy your products, simply because they don’t know what they are.

So slow down, speak more slowly as that will also help you to speak more clearly and get your desired message across.