10 Networking Tips To Help You Make A Great First Impression At An Event

1st_impressions_web1. Build genuine personal connections.

Networking events are a bit like being set up on a blind date, and similar rules apply. Don’t take over the conversation and talk about yourself and your business. People want to feel that you are genuinely interested in them. Ask questions to get to know the other person and understand what they do. As you build a personal connection, potential business opportunities often present themselves.

2. Smile.

Not only does smiling make it easier for people to connect with you because you are more open and welcoming, it also helps them remember you — and your company. Show real interest in what the other person does and ask questions before talking about you. Your smile and authentic self will go a long way toward a positive first impression. 

3. Listen when you join a conversation, then show you were listening.  

Take a few minutes to listen to the conversation when joining a group of people. An effective way to make a good first impression is to join a conversation with a comment that shows you were listening to the current group of people. Acknowledge a key point to add to the conversation rather than refocusing on you and your work. Nothing will stop a conversation faster.

4. Be yourself and don’t try to sell. 

I’ve found that the best approach for any networking event is to be myself and talk about my business in a casual, non-salesy way. When I discuss my business, I always try to share, not sell. I also do a bit of homework on which connections make sense for me to connect with, so I am focusing my energy chatting with people who are relevant to my career and industry.

5. Research attendees and come prepared with questions. 

The best impressions are the ones that appear effortless. Approaching others too aggressively and not paying proper attention to the people and conversations around you can have a negative effect. Be prepared with questions that help you learn about others, hold mutually interesting conversations and make it easy to share what you want to about yourself or your business when it’s appropriate.

6. Bring a friend.

If you are able to attend an event with someone you know from another company, it is great to meet people together — that way you can talk each other up. It can be so hard to boast about yourself and your firm’s accomplishments, but your friend from another company can do that for you and vice versa.

7. Be curious.

People love to talk about themselves. The key to making a great first impression is to be curious about the other person. Asking a thoughtful question (having done your homework on the attendees first) is a great way to put others at ease and demonstrate your listening skills. The more interested you are in others, the more interesting you become. 

8. Introduce yourself with an anecdote that resonates.

We all have that one line or story about what we love about what we do and what our company does. Make your intro personal. People will see you are genuine and it will resonate.

9. Learn how you can help each new connection.

Networking is a powerful way to build business connections, but it’s important that your objective in meeting new people isn’t self-serving. Be authentic, ask questions and start every conversation hoping to learn, “How can I help?” Something as simple as offering to make a helpful introduction goes a long way in leaving a positive impression and will often lead to long-term relationships.

10. Go in without a strict agenda and try to make a new friend. 

Networking events can be intimidating, awkward and loaded with pressure. If you go into it with the intention of getting new leads or gathering X amount of business cards, it’s likely to become uncomfortable. I was recently given the best networking advice: Be authentic and simply try to make a new friend. This takes the pressure off, allows you to be yourself and leads to stronger connections.



5 Tips for Making New Business Connections at Networking Events



Networking events are a popular way to meet new people and form meaningful contacts. However, simply attending and handing out a few business cards usually does not provide a good return on investment for your time. Here are a few tips on how to make new connections at networking events.

  1. Decide on your goals

The first thing that a person needs to do is decide on their goals. Knowing your goals will help you determine who you want to approach and network with. For example, if you are looking for a job in the healthcare industry, then it may be beneficial to network with healthcare recruiters or employees.


  1. Decide on who you want to meet

Sometimes, networking events will list who is going to be in attendance. Look through the list and decide on who you want to meet and prepare a plan to engage them in meaningful conversation.

If the list of attendees is not provided, then you may have to do some moving around to find the right people. Once you find one person in your industry, ask them if they know anyone else in attendance that you can connect with.


  1. Practice your opening introduction

A well rehearsed introduction can make a good impression. Most people go to events without a plan of action. Think about what you want to be known for and how you want the other person to remember you.

When introducing yourself, include your name and what you do, but also be sure to think about how you might be of value to the other person. For example, if you are in marketing and meet a restaurant owner, you can mention how you increased profits to a local restaurant by 98% by doing Facebook marketing.


  1. Handing out the most business cards isn’t necessarily the best strategy

A lot of people define success at networking events as handing out lots of business cards. However, if you don’t spend enough time talking to someone, then it is unlikely that they will remember you.

Make sure you spend enough time with each person before moving on to the next prospect. Real success will be a balance between handing out a lot of cards and spending enough time with each person.




Happy International Women’s Day!  

When I look back at the 35 years I’ve been in the staffing industry, I realize I have seen many many changes when it comes to how women are treated in this country.
Believe or not, when I first started working in staffing, some of the staffing agencies in San Francisco were called by made up men’s names  even though the owner/founders were women.  This was so shocking to me as I had just spent three years in law school and had studied Title 7 and all that it meant.  I watched some of my women friends find themselves getting passed over for promotions and higher pay grades.  I saw many of my friends struggle with work life balance issues too.  In 2000, I chaired the Women in Business Roundtables Committee for the SF Chamber.  We put on large breakfast seminars where we would invite illustrious women CEO’s and successful FemalePreneurs to  share with us what life was life for them. The large predominately female audiences were hungry to know how it was possible to achieve that level of success and actually break the glass ceiling. One speaker after another shared their challenges and mentioned the importance of the mentors they’d had along the way when they could find them.  I don’t hear a lot of talk about the glass ceiling much any more, do you?  Well it is still there but it doesn’t seem to get as much airtime as it once did.   I’ve included an interesting article below on the glass ceiling and  how it’s still very much impacting women and our economy.
Last month, I attended a very inspiring evening at the Castro Theater  entitled:  “More Outrageous Acts of Everyday Rebellions,” a  riveting conversation with the iconic feminist and MS Magazine founder, Gloria Steinem, the artist and activist of CultureStrike,  Favianna Rodriguez.  Gloria reminded us all that although women still have a long way to go to achieve pay equity, to arrive at a time where a ‘me too’ experience isn’t a part of any woman’s life,  and hopefully not such a long time to go to have a woman elected President, “things were much worse back then.”  Gloria is right, so let’s celebrate women this month and how far we have come  and look forward to even brighter tomorrows! — Debra Mugnani Monroe
The glass ceiling: Three reasons why it still exists and is hurting the economy

The glass ceiling, that invisible barrier to advancement that women face at the top levels of the workplace, remains as intractable as ever and is a drag on the economy.
New research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that sexism has prevented many talented women from achieving their full potential at work, there are factors beyond gender discrimination in the workplace that are holding women back.
“In a world where talent is distributed equally among women and men, an economy that does not fully tap into the leadership skills offered by women is necessarily inefficient,” says Chicago Booth Professor Marianne Bertrand. “Talent is left on the table when women are not placed in leadership positions, and the economy suffers.”
In the working paper, “The Glass Ceiling,” Bertrand reviews the extensive literature surrounding the glass ceiling, including her own work, and finds three key reasons why the glass ceiling persists in excluding women from top-paying jobs.
  • Women with college degrees often choose to work in fields that offer lower incomes. Although women have surpassed men in educational attainment, they are vastly underrepresented in top-paying jobs. About 40 percent of women born in America in 1985 hold college degrees, compared to just under 30 percent of men — yet women’s educational advantage hasn’t led to higher pay. One reason for the pay gap: college-educated women, more often than men, avoid majors that lead to higher-earning occupations.
  • Psychological differences between men and women could account for up to 10 percent of the pay gap. Much of the existing research concludes that women are more risk-averse than men are. The willingness to take risks helps employees compete for higher paying jobs and negotiate higher salaries. Whether men and women are born with different attitudes toward risk or the differences are taught, understanding the role of nature versus nurture is key to closing the gap.
  • The demands for child care, housework and other life chores outside of work fall more heavily on women than on men. Higher paying occupations are more inflexible and require more time commitment. Women have a harder time with this inflexibility because they remain disproportionately responsible for taking care of the home, including raising children. Indeed, childcare is one of the most prominent factors holding back women’s earnings at the executive level. Bertrand’s research has also found that when wives earn more than their husbands do, it is difficult on the relationship, and the marriage is more likely to be unhappy or end in divorce.
While family-friendly work policies such as longer and paid maternity leaves, paternity leaves, optional part-time or shorter work hours, and the opportunity to work remotely, help address women’s need for greater flexibility, they fail to address the earnings gap, says Bertrand. No one policy will be able to crack the glass ceiling, she says. But she is hopeful that technological advances could pave the way for change.
“One of the biggest unknowns when trying to predict how the glass ceiling will evolve in the future is the role of technology,” says Bertrand. “There is no doubt that many trends are moving in the ‘right direction’ for women. How the next wave of technological change in the workplace, such as artificial intelligence, will change the structure of work is anyone’s guess.”

From an article in Science Daily, August 22, 2018 based on Chicago Booth School of Business Information

Networking & Communication

stack of business cardsOn my desk is a decorative box that’s full to the top with business cards. I’ve collected them at casual encounters, ASJA conferences, and speaking engagements over the past several months. I have a business card scanner, mobile business card application, and a human assistant, any of which could help me get those names into my contacts list. I haven’t bothered because, deep down, I know most or all will come to nothing.

So I was more than intrigued to discover that consultant and author Andrew Sobel recommends in his new book “Power Relationships that the best place for all those cards might be the circular file. His thesis is simple: When it comes to networking, quality trumps quantity.

“There is a penchant to meet lots and lots of people,” he says. “It’s fueled a bit by social media, where we’re told we need large numbers of Twitter followers, followers of our blogs, LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends.” In fact, he says, there are only a few professions where knowing many, many people in a superficial way can be an advantage. “Maybe if you’re promoting a nightclub,” he says.

For just about everyone else, he says, it’s a different story. After interviewing hundreds of successful executives he found that most could identify 25 or perhaps 30 relationships that had made all the difference to their careers. And they recognized those key relationships right from the start.

That’s led Sobel to recommend a different, and likely more effective approach to networking:

  1. Figure out who matters most.

This group is what Sobel calls the “critical few.” Whether a co-worker, customer, mentor, or someone who’s helped you make valuable connections, these are the contacts whose presence in your life is clearly valuable to your career. “If I asked you to make a list of the 20 most important professional contacts in your life right now,” he says. “It’s those people.”

Once you’ve identified your critical few, make sure to keep regular contact, he advises. “These aren’t people you should just send a holiday card to,” he says. “You should be talking two or three times a year. You should know what their interests are and follow up with them around those.”

  1. Pick your next tier.

This group might be 50 to 100 contacts, Sobel says. These are people who have perhaps helped you or have the potential to do so in the future, contacts you may not know well enough to socialize with. “I don’t follow up with them with the same intensity,” he says. “I make sure I’m sending my monthly newsletter, but I may also send some other things of interest. For instance, when I’m quoted in, I may send a link to that.”

  1. Find easy ways to engage everyone else.

In Sobel’s case, “everyone else” is about 10,000 people. He sends them his monthly newsletter, and at the end of the year, also provides an instructional video just for them.

  1. If you want to connect with someone, find a way to help that person.

It’s easy to assume that a wealthy and successful contact already has everything he or she desires and wants nothing from the likes of you. If you’re thinking that way, get over it, Sobel advises.

It’s always worth the trouble to find out a contact’s desires and concerns. The chances are high that you’ll be able to find something worthwhile you can offer. At one event, he recalls, he was introduced to a former CEO of Walmart, which he wasn’t expecting. Left alone to chat, he soon learned that one of the CEO’s family members suffered from a certain medical condition. Sobel’s brother is an expert in this condition and was able to suggest some useful articles that he sent on to the Walmart CEO.

  1. Be intriguing.

If you want to make a connection with a new contact, especially a very busy one, the quickest way is to arouse that person’s curiosity with something unexpected. Sobel saw this demonstrated years ago when a friend of his met with an executive of a large telecommunications company. At the time, re-engineering was all the rage and that’s what Sobel’s friend had come to sell. But the telecom executive cut him off before he began, saying that the company had already engaged a high-profile firm and had its re-engineering well in hand.

Sobel’s friend was quiet for a moment and then remarked, “We used to do re-engineering.”

“The guy got upset,” Sobel says with a chuckle. “It’s good to get people emotionally engaged.” The executive was now very much listening to whatever Sobel’s friend had to say.

  1. Think people, not positions.

“Everyone reading this knows people who are smart, ambitious, motivated, and interesting,” Sobel says. “Some of those people, in eight or 10 years, are going to be influencers. They may even be CEOs.”

It’s a lot easier to get to know someone and form a connection early in that person’s career, he explains. “It’s not that easy to break into the inner circle of 50- or 60-year-old executives. It’s a lot easier to build up that equity early. So think about who in your network seems to be going places and is really interesting and make a strong connection. Even if they don’t become an influencer, it’ll be an interesting relationship.”

  1. Give before you ask.

Recently, Sobel got a lengthy email from a business school classmate. “I hadn’t heard from him in 30 years,” he says. The email was a request that Sobel invest in a new venture–in fact, the entire business plan was contained in the body of the email. “He did not maintain a relationship with me, and he didn’t evoke my curiosity,” Sobel notes. “I think he failed in all his attempts to raise money.”

Worst of all, the contact had committed the sin of asking for something without giving or offering anything, or even demonstrating any caring for Sobel at all. “Before you ask for something, make sure you’ve invested in that person,” he says.

  1. Be generous.

That doesn’t mean you should only reach out to contacts or do things for them when you expect something in return. “You can’t operate with the thought of reciprocity in mind,” Sobel cautions. “If you go around with that mercenary attitude it will show, and people will think you’re a self-interested schmuck.”

Instead, he says, “You have to have a generous spirit. The greatest networkers I know genuinely like to help others. They’re always doing it. And if they ever do need anything, people will fall over themselves to help them.”









Crafting a Winning Cover Letter in 10 Minutes (from Glassdoor)

Hi Everyone!Cover_letter_l

Check out this awesome resource Glassdoor has provided! This quick article has some great tips I highly endorse for getting your cover letter done in a pinch! :


Let’s be honest: some of us would rather visit than dentist than write a cover letter. But it doesn’t have to be difficult—and it doesn’t even have to be time-consuming. (We promise!)

Glassdoor has created a guide for creating the perfect cover letter in a matter of minutes—complete with everything from the anatomy of an eye-catching opening to a checklist you can reference when you’re ready to edit your first draft. But with these key points—as well as some expert advice—you can write a killer cover letter as soon as you read this article.

Here’s how to craft a winning cover letter in 10 minutes—or less.

Nail down the key points.
Every cover letter covers the same basic points: each includes your contact information, a greeting, and your past experience. But to make your cover letter stand out, you’ll have to make those same ol’ points sing, Glassdoor’s guide points out. For example, when it comes to your contact information, “don’t make recruiters dig through your cover letter to find” it, the guide advises. Place it on top of your letter, where it’s easy to spot, read, and reference.

As for that greeting? “Forget ‘To Whom It May Concern,’” according to the guide. If you can find a contact person’s name and title, use it. You’d be amazed what a difference it makes.

Show why you’re right for the role.
Your resume clearly lists all of your qualifications, so your cover letter is the best place to elaborate on what makes you right for the job. “Whenever possible, include concrete metrics that illustrate the results you’ve achieved,” our Glassdoor guide recommends.

You can also show your personality, recommends career coach Hallie Crawford. “Try to grab the hiring manager’s attention in the introductory paragraph regarding why you’re interested in the position and passionate about the work. Tell a personal story that relates to the industry or the organization,” she recommends. Try out quotes or anecdotes too.

Keep it clean.
According to Glassdoor’s guide, “cover letters should be clean and easy to read,” so be sure to “skip the intricate designs and crazy fonts for party invitations,” Glassdoor advises. And, if possible, keep your cover letter to a single page—just like you did with your resume, too.

One way to make your cover letter clean is to use bullet points. “Address specific skills and qualifications needed for the job in a bulleted list that’s easy to read,” Crawford explains.

What’s more, “your cover letter should match the format of your resume,” Crawford says. Think of it this way, Crawford adds: “Both of these documents are your personal branding materials, so they should match with the same header, font, and style to brand you.”

End on a high note.
Lastly, “at the end of your letter, let the hiring manager know why you stand out from your competition for the job,” Crawford advises. “Highlight your unique combination of skills and experience.” One way to do that, Crawford says, is to “review your peers’ LinkedIn profiles to understand what’s typical in your industry and how you’re different from them.”

Getting Into Podcasts!

I’ve been a podcast affectionado for the past four or five years, and I realize many people haven’t jumped on that bandwagon and think they might be really missing out on great information. There are podcasts on almost every subject you might be interested in. The few I recommend for this new year are: Audible Dharma, Happier with Gretchin Rubin, Invisibilia (a podcast about the marvels of our brains,) and if you’d like to follow riveting stories there are two I’ve listened to that were super interesting: STown and The Serial. I’ve recently found a great language podcast called Coffee Break Spanish which helps people improve their language skills. They also have various other languages. There’s a handy how to article on podcast listening below. If you are already a podcast fan and have a favorite, please share it with me. I’m always looking for new ones!

Debra Mugnani Monroe                                       Podcast-Image-2

How to subscribe a Podcast

Not sure how to listen to a podcast? It’s free, and it’s easy-really! If you have a smart phone or a smart speaker, you’re ready to start listening.

If you have an iPhone or iPad:
1. On your home screen, find the purple Apple Podcasts icon
2. Tap it to open the Apple Podcasts app
3. To find the podcast you want, tap the “Search” magnifying glass in the lower right corner
4. In the Search Bar, type in the show’s name
5. When the logo for the show appears, tap on it
6. You’ll go to the page for the show. Hit the “Subscribe” button
7. To start listening right away, tap on any episode

If you have an Android phone:
1. On your home screen, find the Google Podcasts icon
2. Tap it to open the Google Podcasts app
3. To find the podcast you want, tap the “Search” magnifying glass in the upper left corner
4. In the Search Bar, type in the show’s name
5. When the logo for the show appears, tap on it
6. You’ll go to the page for the show. Hit the “Subscribe” button
7. To start listening right away, tap on any episode

If you have a smart speaker:
On Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Tap:
Say, ” Alexa, Play ___ podcast.”

On Google Home:
Say, “O.K., Google, play ___ podcast.”

That’s all there is to it!

Do Women’s Networking Events Move the Needle on Equality?

By Shawn Achor
This article was originally published on February 13, 2018 by the Harvard Business Review
Image courtesy of
Recently, I was flying home from the Conference for Women, where I had been invited to speak. I was carefully holding a copy of the conference program on my lap – my mom likes to save them, and I wanted to be a good son and bring her back an unwrinkled copy. The guy sitting next to me on the airplane noticed it and asked me about the conference. I told him it’s a series of nonprofits across the country that run conferences for women from all industries to talk about leadership, fairness, and success. He then surprised me by saying, “I’m all for equality, but I’m not sure what good a conference will do.” Done with the conversation, he put on his headphones, content in his cynicism as I stewed, trying to come up with the best, albeit incredibly delayed, response.
By the time I landed, I realized the best response to such a cynical attitude would be data. It won’t change anyone’s mindset to just claim that connecting women is “important” and will “have an impact at work and in society.” We need to show that it actually does. That’s why Michelle Gielan, best-selling author of Broadcasting Happiness, and I partnered with the Conference for Women to see if we could test the long-term effects of uniting women. Spoiler alert: The results astounded even us.

In our initial study of 2,600 working women across functions and industries attending Conferences for Women in several U.S. states, we examined several outcomes that occurred in the year after the women attended the conference. Since women who attend a conference might be different demographically and psychographically from women who elect not to, we used a control group that was made up of women who signed up for a conference but had not yet attended.

As part of the study, we were looking for two types of positive outcomes in women attending a conference: financial outcomes (pay raises and promotions) and intellectual outcomes (increased optimism, lower stress levels, and a feeling of connection). Since we were looking at financial outcomes, we made sure the time period we studied was the same for the research group and the control group, to account for any changes in the larger economic landscape.
For the women who’d signed up for the conference but had yet to attend, 18% received a promotion during the time period we studied, compared with 42% of women who had already attended the conference. In other words, in the year after connecting with peers at the Conference for Women, the likelihood of receiving a promotion doubled. (I wish I could find that guy on the plane to share this stat with him.)
In addition, 5% of the women in the control group received a pay increase of more than 10%, compared with the 15% of women who had attended the conference. That means that in one year, attendees had triple the likelihood of a 10%+ pay increase. (Remember, this isn’t selection bias – women in the control group were also signed up to attend a future conference.)
We also polled the women who’d attended the conference about how it affected their overall outlook. 78% percent of them reported feeling “more optimistic about the future” after attending. While we did not compare this with the control group’s outlook, this still seemed like a significant finding to us in part because of what we know about how a positive mindset can affect other aspects of life. In my HBR article “Positive Intelligence,” I describe how optimism can create a “happiness advantage,” where nearly every business and educational outcome improves as a result.
Perhaps most tellingly, 71% of the attendees said that they “feel more connected to others” after attending. This is important. In my book Big Potential, I outline why the greatest predictor of success and happiness is social connection. Research has shown that social connection can be as predictive of how long you will live as obesity, high blood pressure, or smoking. There is power in connection. I start Big Potential with the story of a study of synchronous lightning bugs from Indonesia, in which researchers at MIT found that if lightning bugs light up alone, their success rate for reproduction is 3%. If they light up simultaneously with thousands of other lightning bugs, their success rate rises to 86%. By lighting together, they could space themselves out to maximize resources, and the increase in their collective brightness would help them be seen for up to five miles! I wrote Big Potential because I have found that if people feel like they are trying to get out of depression alone, or fighting inequality alone, or striving for success alone, they burn out and the world feels like a huge burden. But there is a powerful, viable alternative to individually pursuing success and happiness: doing it together.
I’m not sure every conference would have such a long-term positive impact. I have been to quite a few where either the conference is unengaging or the attendees are disengaged and on their phones. I think it’s safe to say there is an inverse relationship between the benefits you’ll get from a conference and the time you spend on your laptop or phone.
But the key to a beneficial conference, based on my experience speaking at more than 900 conferences over the past 12 years, are (1) a sense of social connection felt by the attendees, (2) engaging sessions, (3) leaders who role model and exemplify the qualities that the conference is attempting to instill, (4) a memorable moment, and (5) a realistic assessment of the present with an optimistic look to the future. Based on the responses of the women in this sample group, we see elevated optimism and social connection, as well as superstar role models (for example, Michelle Obama and Brené Brown also spoke at the event I went to).
Moreover, many of the sessions offered practical applications for moving forward at work, such as how to ask for a raise, or stories from other women to let you know that your experiences at work are not unusual or isolated.
Laurie Dalton White, founder of the Conferences for Women, adds, “Something special happens when you see that you are not alone. Making connections and building relationships with other attendees and speakers helps women form an understanding of their worth, and then they learn strategies to ask for promotions, seek fair pay, and even become mentors to others. We invite women like Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandberg to speak at our conferences not just because of their own personal success stories, but because they are role models who inspire women in both big and small ways.”
There is power in connecting, and it’s not just about gender. Men and women alike can benefit from the power of connection. If you are a manager, encourage your employees to go to events where they can connect with others to remind them that they are not pursuing success and happiness alone. If you are a CEO, invest in conferences that help build up all members of your organization, regardless of where they sit in the organizational hierarchy.
We have so much more to learn about the value of connection in a hyper-competitive world. To the guy sitting on my plane: This research shows that cynicism regarding women’s conferences and initiatives is unfounded, unconstructive, and uninformed. To the rest of us seeking a positive path forward at work and in society, regardless of gender: We must pursue happiness and success together. Like the lightning bugs, rather than trying to light up the darkness alone and in isolation, there is power when we add our light to something bigger. In doing so, we shine brighter.