Rhetorical success is all about how to mingle, in the most efficient way. Mingle in reality. Mingle online. Mingle during parties and mingle in the office. It does not matter. You prepare your mingle in the same way as you – of course – prepare a text for publication. Ok?
1. Decide. Why should you spend your time meeting these people? For real. What do you want them to think, grasp, feel and/or do after they talked to you?
2. Select. Start each mingle by trying to get an overview of who’s who and who’s interesting to you. If possible – do this before you set your foot at the mingle. If there’s no notification via Facebook there’s always a person responsible for this network gathering. Contact and ask. Anyone extra interesting? Select and make them feel special.
3. Ask questions. Ask questions you’re actually interested in knowing the answer to. I am a very curious person and I think most people have interesting ideas, for real. We notice when someone is genuine or not and if you feel like you have absolutely nothing to talk about, please follow guideline 7 & 8 below.
4. Listen. To mingle is all about networking, and networking will open up new possibilities. Sure, it’s important that the other person knows who you are, but if she or he thinks you seem interesting, they will ask.
5. Create new acquaintances. If you see someone you think might benefit from knowing someone else, help them get to know one another. A successful networker is a generous networker. When you introduce them to each other, tell them what you think they have in common and how you think they can benefit from this imminent conversation. Do not use this as a dumping strategy. It will not go undetected and it will spill over on you. Completely unnecessary.
6. Business cards. Yes, you can start following the other one on twitter and they can follow you. You can even add each other on Facebook or LinkedIn, you still bring and hand out your business card. For your card will be found at another moment in time. This is good for you. A wise man once said: Chance is no coincidence. I agree.
7. Stay or walk away? Walk away. Always. Walk away from the person you just spoke to. Walk away from your usual suspects. And walk away from the mingle you’re at. Successful mingling means focusing briefly on the one you want to talk to, and after making the impression you intended – say ”thank you” and walk away.
8. How do you walk away? Besides the fact that high heels physiologically and gravitationally forces you to a better posture, which makes you more attractive and thus more interesting (yes, it’s true), when it comes to communication – be transparent. There are people who put clever names on different methods used for dumping. It’s actually easier than that: When you want to go, which you should do fairly quickly, you just say so. Maybe you see a person that you really want to talk to, or you just want to talk to someone else (since there are so many interesting people in the room). Say thank you, it was nice talking to you, wish the person good luck with something that they are facing, ”hope to run inte you again” or something else appropriate. And walk away.
9. Smile. If you’re not happy, do not go on, go home. Mingling is primarily about having fun.
A successful person has already prepared various scenarios, and practiced them in advance. The practice helps your brain ease into that subject when an opening is presenting itself, and the transition is so smooth that the person you’re talking to won’t notice a thing. You will seem completely natural.