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Your Escape Plan for Networking. . .

oMust Be in Place!

Has this ever happened to you? The seminar is scheduled to begin at 8:30. When you signed up and paid for the event, the notice on the promotional flyer said. “Arrive early and Network!”

“Great!” was your reaction. You’ve tweaked your Elevator Speech enough times that you’re comfortable with it and excited about the opportunity to deliver it to others with the goal of finding prospects.

You arrive at 7:45, and already, people are gathering. They are introducing themselves, delivering and listening to Elevator Speeches, and exchanging business cards.

Someone with the name tag, Barney, walks up, grabs your hand and starts shaking it. He then starts delivering, and delivering, and delivering his Elevator Speech. You feel as if you’re being Verbally Spammed! He is bombarding you with information you never asked to receive. You have no interest in Barney’s products and services, but – he keeps delivering and delivering his Elevator Speech!

Not, since addressing you by name, because you are wearing a name tag, has he asked what you do.

What’s a great networker going to do when being held captive by a Verbally Spamming non-networker?

You need a Breakaway Plan. Perhaps several!

  1. Hold up your hand in the STOP! position. Politely, but firmly, say, “Barney, When I was planning my goals for this event I made a personal commitment to meet ten new people before the program starts. You’re number one. I’ve got to get going or I won’t meet my goal.”

  2. Extend your hand and say, “Good luck and enjoy the program!”

  3. Leave Barney and find someone else. Perhaps, the name tags have the name of the company the person works for. It may even have their position in the firm. Find one you like and extend your hand!

  4. If Barney had been a nice person, who had asked about you, and was just one of those people who talk, talk, talk, you might exchange business cards as you pivot to leave.

  5. If you’ve encountered “Barneys” before, have Other Options to get away.

  6. Set the timer on your phone to go off for the time you’ve calculated you want to spend with someone.

  7. When it chimes, take it out of your pocket and politely explain why you set it.

  8. You could put the talk, talk, talk BAD on yourselfand explain, “I often find myself taking up too much of someone’s time at events like this and use the alarm to discipline myself to give them the opportunity to meet more people. Come to think about it, I should be doing that, also, shouldn’t I?

  9. Shake hands, wish them Good Luck, and Leave!

  10. Sometimes, getting away can be as easy as saying, “Excuse me! I just saw someone walk in who I need to see right now about something important!

  11. Shake hands, wish them Good Luck, and Leave!

  12. If attending the event with a friend, especially one who has also met Barney, you can have an agreement to discreetly signal each other when you want to break away from Barney. When the signal is given, the friend will call the other person on their cell phone.

  13. When the phone rings, look at Barney and say, “I’ve got to take this call. Perhaps we’ll meet another time. Good Luck and Leave!

Use these Breakaway Plans and your next networking event will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the book, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

314-517-8772 Connect/Follow me: FaceBook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube

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