For the midterm in my Fundamentals of Business class I asked the students to create business cards and to take turns pitching themselves to their classmates in 2-3 minute presentations. Instead of standing in front of the room and passively presenting, they practiced walking and talking as they handed out their cards to their seated classmates. As a class we noticed that as soon as the presenters began to walk their walk, they were more authentically able to talk their talk - presenting themselves from the heart instead of just the head. This is why I am continuously incorporate kinaesthetic learning activities into my classroom - to alert the students to being present and aware.
As each of the 18 students pitched, I asked their classmates to write down something memorable on the presenter's business card: a Unique Selling Point (USP). This, I told them, is a good practice after networking, a way to remember the person after the interaction. It reinforces learning through a visual activity and they now have an "artifact" from the networking exercise.
I took the class one step further inviting them to take a 30-minute break and then, when they returned, to write their name on the board. Under each name other students began to write a memorable USP about each classmate. For 10 minutes there was a bustling cluster of students writing on the board as they continued their networking through visual and kinaesthetic activity.
To conclude the activity, one of the students was asked to read the names and the USPs - to reinforce auditory learning. Her clear and enthusiastic voice was a further reinforcement of the impression each student made on the class.
This turned into a powerful exercise of presenting yourself, being heard and then receiving positive feedback on how people perceive your USPs. How often in real life do we get this level of engagement and immediate positive feedback? Can we use our senses in these ways when networking?