I was sent a copy of “Get Noticed“, a book about effective networking, by Marcus Taylor, one of the co-authors of the book (along with Rob Lawrence). The book is a lifestyle book, which shares tips on meeting the right people at the right time, all of the time. At first I was a little skeptical. I mean, what can it tell me about things that I don’t already know?
As it turns out, a fair bit.
The first thing is the book is easy to read – rather than pages upon pages of small text, this book was easily read cover to cover by myself in the space of about 2 hours (two train journeys – more of which will come later) – I’m not a huge reader, so it was nice that the book was easy to read.
The contents of the book is fairly well split, short chapters with bullet points, often with indepth explanation of bullet points, and a task at the end of the chapter. At the beginning it just reinforces what you need to know – how to meet people (head to places where people you wish to meet are), but even if you think you know everything (which you don’t), it’s well worth reading as it can offer some practical suggestions of meeting people – websites and links to services that can help.
One of the most interesting chapters was the “How to Hold a Conversation with Anybody about Anything”, an intreaguing and interesting idea. It is something that I struggle with as I can count the amount of subjects I can have a conversation with on one hand. It introduces ways on increasing your knowledge on a variety of subjects by asking questions, being curious and practicing. Furthermore, the book introduces ways of having conversations on subjects in such a way so that you don’t patronise, introduce plenty of “outs” so conversations can diversify into other subjects smoothly.
Of course, it’s all very well reading it, but actioning the strategy does take a little bit of work – remember that train journey I talked about? One of them was to the Replay Expo, an area full of gamers. It seemed like a perfect place to meet like minded people. However, besides gamers, what else are they interested in? Having a way of causing an introduction (I was the social media bod behind the twitter account, so could get pictures easily), I found a lot of people and had a lot of conversations, ending up with a few more people to speak to on Twitter. It was great, and who knows what those contacts develop into?
Other interesting ideas put forward was changing your vocabulary to keep the conversations moving forward, so that even though you are talking about yourself, you can make it seems like your talking about your target. Also how to meet celebrities and people that are impossible to meet.
There are some things I didn’t necessarily agree with – particularly around “how to dress”. I’m firmly a t-shirt and jeans individual, and rarely wear a suit. It suggests that I should change my dress sense to look at lot smarter. As somebody who has lost pitches largely on the fact I’ve been (or felt) overdressed, I’ll respectfully disagree on this point.
All things considered though, this book is well worth picking things up. It gives good advice, and I had a few takeaways from it. It also importantly enables points that you may not already know or be fully concious on (such as eye-smiling makes you more attractive), as well as reinforces points you are familiar with. All this in a short, readable book.
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