What to Say, Do, and Avoid Doing When Meeting Someone: Tips for Networking

By Stephanie Yamkovenko posted 7 days ago


What should you do within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone new? Brush up on your networking skills before Annual Conference next month!

AOTA’s Annual Conference & Expo is the largest gathering of occupational therapy professionals in the world! That means you’ll have many opportunities to network and meet new people.

The following top-clicked tips are among your OT colleagues’ favorites for making the most of networking.

What to Say: Phrases to Make You Shine in Conversation

Want to make a good impression in conversations? Try using these phrases to help provoke positive reactions when meeting people. Think of it as your charisma cheat sheet. 

What to Do: Five Things Within 5 Minutes of Meeting Someone

We all want to make a good first impression when we meet someone new. Try to do these 5 things within the first 5 minutes to form more lasting relationships. 

What to Avoid Doing: Body Language That Can Sabotage Your Conversations

Is your body language making or breaking your conversations? Be more aware of your nonverbal communication with these 12 simple tips. Try them at Conference and with your coworkers and clients.

Work on Your Networking Skills at Conference

networking-aota17.pngInspired to start excelling at networking? Here are a few events you should attend at Annual Conference to practice your skills, meet new colleagues, and return home knowing you’ve started potentially long-lasting relationships.

SIS Networking Reception: Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 to 9

This free event on the night before Conference is a great place to meet new colleagues. The special interest sections (SISs) each have a designated area and you can move around the room meeting people from all over the country (and world!) in your practice area.

Poster Sessions, throughout Conference

Poster sessions are another great opportunity for networking. Approach the poster presenter and ask questions about their research and findings. Talk to the other attendees viewing the poster, too! See the poster session times here.

Conversations That Matter, throughout Conference         

Our popular Conversations That Matter sessions are all about networking with colleagues around a topic of interest. Browse the topics here (be sure to look at the sessions on Friday and Saturday, too!).

#AOTA19 Tweet Up, Friday at 12:30

If you are on social media or CommunOT, we can’t wait to meet you in real life at the Tweet Up. All of the OT social media friends get together and put faces to screennames. We also take a fun group photo.

This is a very short list of networking opportunities! What are your favorite events or times to network at Annual Conference? What tips do you have for making the most of new connections?




5 days ago

For someone like me, it's SO easy to self-sabotage. Therefore, I do my best to get to know people online first if possible.
Thanks, @Carla Wilhite! Glad you found it helpful. I will definitely be testing out these tips at Conference. I'm always looking for ways to be a better conversationalist!

6 days ago

Great suggestions Stephanie. In these "troubled" times, it is great to connect with pro-social/positive ways to connect with others...and possibly wind up in a great conversation!

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