Chapter 18

Engaging in Witty Repartee

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Knowing the importance of manners and politeness

check Remaining engaged in your conversations

check Coming up with an elevator pitch

I like to talk. I always have. One of my favorite things to do is to get to know people. I’m confident in my ability to do that alone. When I’m at a function or a party with my husband, we aren’t glued at the hip. We wander away from each other, grabbing food or looking for someone we know at the party. Both of us are confident enough to strike up a conversation with someone we don’t know, and this ability to mingle and schmooze has helped both of us immeasurably in our careers.

Yes, you can meet new clients and employers this way. But it may not be the person you were talking to who ends up giving you work. That person might just be a reference. Since I went into business for myself, I’ve gotten a lot of work this way. In the beginning, it felt like coincidence. People would tell me, “I have an upcoming speech, and, boy, could I use some help.” Or, “There is a gal in our company who speaks so fast we can hardly hear what she has to say — I’m going to give her your card.” I soon realized that I needed to ...

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