Of course at this kind of event you may not be sitting next to such a star of the public speaking industry if you are not part of the key people who put the event together, but at breakout sessions you can always approach them, and discuss with them. But well, would discussing with them be enough to strongly connect with them? Probably not for the main reason that just like you, everyone else present at the event would love to connect with the star. So you face the challenge that the star won’t probably have too much time for you and second with all the person he’ll be talking with that day, he probably won’t remember your face. So how did I manage a strong connection with someone who was at the centerpiece of an event in just 2 minutes?
- First, I started with a praise. Sincerely praising others is the 1-2 steps of building strong relationships. Dale Carnegie said if you want to win friends and influence people you have to show genuine
interest and praise. In my case, I knew I wanted to connect with Dwayne G. Smith so the first thing I did was to attend to his workshop. Dwayne was lighting the room full of people on his topic entitled “The Seven Steps To Speaking Success” After the workshop, I went to him and presented my simple but powerful THANK YOU. Yes, I didn’t have to but to connect I first had to give my feedback for the great presentations he offered the people at the workshop.
- Second, I asked for a favor. Well of course when you see a star or person you respect and kind of see as your role model, then you definitely reach out for your camera and try to have a picture with him. Now think about it….when you take a picture of you camera did you really connect with the person? Will you be able to make a follow up? Probably not. I went the other way around. I didn’t have my camera so I asked him if he had one. He said yes, so I told him that I’d love to get a picture with him, but then I had a favor to ask him. I said:”I don’t have my picture and would cherish to take a picture of you. Would you mind giving your camera to someone so he can take us a picture and then you email that picture back to me?” He said yes! Took the picture and gave me his business card in return.
- Finally, I followed up. After the week-end, I sent him an email describing who I was, where we met, and why he gave me his business card. Do you still have the picture? I was asking in the email. Guess what happened? He emailed back, sent me the picture along with his contact information and then I asked for a phone meeting request which he accepted. We spent about 45 minutes on the phone and he was giving me private lessons on how to enter the speaking business and be successful. Of course, at the end of the phone conversation I asked if he’d mind me giving him a call if I need some help or advice and of course he said he doesn’t mind because of the already established strong connection.
Try this technique and let me know how it worked for you.