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Speed dating for impact


Gaining, creating, getting, (losing), having, achieving impact underpins many of the perceived and real training needs that our people have every day. I've been reading about and hearing about how the principles of speed dating can be applied to the business, speed meetings and speed recruitment. Now I'm not advocating trying the dating thing for for real (too many complications!) but does anyone have any experiences of this approach in the corporate world or any other different ideas for creating and developing impact?
Katherine Chapman

5 Responses

  1. the elevator scenario
    Is the old “Elevator Scenario” actually relevant here?
    (In case you aren’t familiar with this it goes like this…)
    Imagine you were caught in the lift with someone who you recogised as being a possible employer (or business customer). You would only have about 40 seconds to convince them that THEY want to employ (or do business) with you. What are you going to do/say.

    I use this as part of interview techniques training in outplacement and also in sales training.

    In terms of developing impact I read an article recently about a person (in a very fashion related business) whose cards just had their name….no contact information at all. The (apparently successful) idea was..”you will be able to find me if you want to”. The very fact that the information WASN’T there encouraged people to ask and search.

  2. Used wisely, yes
    If you agree that the concept of speed dating is based on the “first impressions” ethos, then speed (or focused) events in business can and do work.

    I have used them in both in recruitment and meetings. The design has been around key principles of emotional intelligence (EI): that is, asking specific, targetted questions to generate EI responses. Far to involved to explain fully- but I have used it successfully for mass recruitment as well as middle management. Still a “comfort” issue for anyone more senior…

    Speed meetings are a hoot! Again, the key premise is that ‘most’ meetings are affected by people’s emotions, I have applied Ed de Bono’s Six Hats Thinking, with some EI and it has worked in certain situations and groups.

    Happy to give more info. Like anything, it needs to be used wisely and in the right environment and, critically, with everyone’s permission.

  3. Speed Networking
    I concur with all that has been written. There are many interesting applications.

    I recently did a 3 hour session for 50 female entrepreneurs on the development of their version of an elevator speech. For them it wasn’t about what they were working on but a response to the question, ‘what do you do?’

    When I was first asked to think about it, I asked some friends if they could think of more difficult questions than, ‘What do you do?’

    ‘Why didn’t you call me?’, was the only one we could come up with.

    We allowed 90 minutes to helping them develop their 30-45 response to that question.

    The next 90 minutes were comprised of ‘speed networking’, where they practiced their response to that difficult question on 15 other delegates. This was run on exactly the same principle as ‘speed dating’, with the added component of feedback sheets.

    It was a joy.

    It does need to be run like a military operation though.

    Good luck with whatever you use it for and if you would like any further details, you can contact me on: [email protected].

    Graeme Kerr

  4. speed dating becomes speed networking!
    I am helping to organise speed networking events in the East Midlands to maximise the number of business decision makers you meet in the minimum of time.Most networking events involve being pinned in a corner by one professional marketeer and never getting the chance to talk about your own business. Our event has timed one to one encounters where you get the chance to catwalk your business to at least 15 business decision makers (like you) in two and a half hours First event was a great success. Next event is 8th February in Northampton if anyone is interested in coming along to network their business ctc me [email protected]


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