Nail Your Intro

“So, what do you do?”

That simple question is the bane of networking. Why? Because our default answer is our job title: Director of Social Media, Comedian, Writer, CFO, Vice President in Charge of Widgets.

It never ends well.

Here’s the problem: when you answer with a job title — no matter how cool — you put the burden of understanding on the other person. And they, poor souls, are not up to the job.

You, however, have the power to shape the conversation. Here’s what to do instead:

1) Decide who you want to be. We contain multitudes. Sometimes you are meeting someone as an entrepreneur, other times as an artist, and still other times as a soccer mom. Pick the person you will be tonight.

2) With that in mind, choose a recent project that you are passionate about: a new product you’re about to launch, a gallery exhibit you just had or the novel that you’re currently writing.

3) Think about one interesting detail about the project, something you loved or something unusual or funny.

Now put it all together:

“So, what do you do?”

“I just organized a conference for 200 mystery writers on how to commit the perfect murder.”

“I’m about to launch an app that helps people find their missing pet.”

“I’m writing my first novel, about the Mafia in Havana.”

By giving them a specific project to react to — “Wow! That sounds amazing!” — you have launched an interesting conversation around something you know and love.

Give it a try. Feel free to e-mail me your intro at, and I’ll be happy to give you my (complimentary) two cents on it.

If you’d like to work with me on developing your networking plan, branding your message, or pitching your latest project, I’m happy to do that, too. Click here to learn more.