Adopt a 5-second rule

In last week’s ezine, we discussed strategies for introverts at networking events. Making a pact with yourself to talk to the first person you see is a great start. What about the next conversation? For that, you may want to adopt a 5-second rule.

This 5-second rule has nothing to do with dropped food. It has to do with eye contact. During the course of a networking event, you will make eye contact with someone across the room. After mutual eye contact is established, vow to walk over within five seconds and introduce yourself.

Why five seconds?

Well, in the other 5-second rule the thought is if you drop the food on the floor and don’t pick it up within that amount of time it becomes too germ-infested to consume. For this variation of the rule, more than five seconds gives you too much time to think about what could happen, what won’t happen. Essentially, if you wait longer than five seconds you are more likely to talk yourself out of walking over.

So, don’t.

If you are standing in a spot and make eye contact, walk over within five seconds and launch into some of the conversation starters mentioned in the last ezine. Or, simply say, “I saw you there and thought I would come over and introduce myself….”

Also, while this tip is for a networking event, you can also employ it for your regular networking meeting. If you see a guest walk into the room, give yourself five seconds to go over and introduce yourself. The guest will certainly appreciate it. You may also have a head start on getting to know someone you could help or vice versa.