What's Your Billboard Speech?

career advancement nail it! team engagement May 08, 2023
Business people networking at a conference

Conference Conversations are Quick.

Here’s my 3-step Formula to get prepared.

Ever been at a conference, really wanted to meet someone you respected in your field, and then by the time you got face to face with them, it was like you forgot how to string two sentences together? Or worse, you rambled on and completely lost them?

I sure have! I remember back in 2010 when the first edition of my book, NAIL IT!, came out. I was at a coaching conference in the US and found myself face to face with a leader I had read about, heard speak and couldn’t wait to meet.

She said, “Nice to meet you. What do you do?”  I went on to tell her about my book on career development. Oh and then I also just released a fantasy/fiction novel called Raphael’s Riddle. Then I’m quite sure I threw in the fact I felt guilty leaving my small children to travel to the conference in the first place.  I saw her face kind of fade and I knew I had lost an opportunity to mine the brain of someone I truly admired. She was already looking for the next conversation.

I realized then that conference conversations are quick. It pays to be prepared. And you have to choose which rockstar project/activity/accomplishment you want to highlight that is relevant to the individual you are talking to. Have a conference or offsite coming up and want to cut through the noise and make a memorable impression in those precious first few seconds?

Here’s a 3-step formula I adapted from my NAIL IT!® online program that I used in a session to kick off a conference for a group of Emerging Leaders.

Write out your answers and give it a try.

  • A specific reason I feel seen, heard and valued at my job is…
  • What I appreciate about my supervisor is…
  • A learning/career opportunity I’d welcome, is…

Do you have an Emerging Leaders group in your company? Want help kicking off a successful conference? Contact me and we'll talk.

Karen Kelloway, BPR PCC
Your Career Story Editor


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