It’s NOT about the business cards. It’s about making a connection to the people you want to get to know, and making an impact in what you say and think.
Cards are Paper
There’s nothing especially important about a business card. They contain information (often too much) that should help one get back to somewhere, but they are a bookmark. They are a way back to the conversation. But they are NOT the conversation.
Story: Listen and Share
Lead with something that starts the other person’s story. “What have you seen that’s interesting today? What are you passionate about?” Starting with the other person’s story gives them a chance to feel comfortable with a subject. Okay, sometimes, people are shy. You can start with your story, but with a pass to them at the end. “I’m Chris Brogan. I’ve been listening to great speakers today, and I’m really excited about the party later tonight. Did you hear anyone interesting?”
Neutral ground is sometimes okay. : )
Your Card Comes Last
Your card should come near the end. Do you know why? Because before you communicate, how should you know that you want to continue conversations? Yes, ask for business cards, and yes, communicate about how to contact someone next, but lead with the story.
Human to Human
The strength of everything in this digital community and culture is still humanity-driven. Learn that. Be that. Live that.
Chris Brogan is Community Developer for Video on the Net. He keeps a blog at [chrisbrogan.com].