(2-minute read, and a puppy picture)
It’s the season for parties. While we go to parties to celebrate and have fun, some gatherings, notably with business colleagues, offer unique opportunities to create memorable impressions that can help you in your career.
This is Macie
She’s the last puppy of a big litter. Friends brought her to our party hoping that copious amounts of delicious wine, great food and her big eyes would be Macie’s ticket to a new family. It worked!
But what happened the next day was especially revealing. Everyone sent us lovely notes of thanks for hosting. Many of the notes contained pictures that will surely outlive the hangovers. Several friends asked for contact information for newly introduced friends. But universally, everyone wrote about Macie.
The food, wine and company were stellar, but it was the puppy that was memorable.
Macie’s presence at the party is a reminder about what makes a memorable experience. It also offers larger lessons about what you can do to be memorable.
So, without planning your holiday parties or office gatherings around the availability of an 8-week old puppy, what can you do?
1) Be Unexpected
Whether you’re in the corporate world or with a not-for-profit, we can all connect our work to improving someone else’s quality of life. Rather than answering, “What do you do?” with your job title, consider the benefits of talking about your work in terms of its benefits to others.
Talking about purpose makes it easier for your audience to connect with you as a professional and as a person. That personal connection is what will make you, and the conversation, memorable.
For someone in finance, ‘purpose’, might sound like: “I work in finance- I help my clients get to their personal ‘happily ever after’ retirement goals.”
2) Connect with Need
Macie’s owners brought her to the party, wrapped in a baby blanket, to find her a new home. The need was clear and everyone understood it.
You can create interest during your holiday party conversations by connecting the purpose of your work with individual need.
Continuing the personal finance example, the need may be to explain today’s increasingly complex and opaque financial instruments in plain English.
By bringing purpose and need into the conversation, you elevate what you do above titles and tasks and create a more genuine connection with your audience.
3) Keep it Short and Sweet (just like Macie)
Practice what you want to say. Remember, the more you talk, the less other people listen. With practice, you can leave your audience with a memorable last impression.
And finally, go into your party season with a strategy. Single out the “must talk to” people and make a point of finding and speaking with them. Then you can follow up and keep the conversation going into the New Year.
Wishing you a fun – and productive –
holiday season, and peace and joy
in the New Year!
Coming up in January:
Here it is again… Setting Goals that Matter