question“So how many of you looked me up on LinkedIn before you came to listen to my presentation?”

I asked this in 2 separate corporate sessions at which I recently spoke.

One hand went up.  In two sessions.

I was not asking for ego-centered purposes.

Truly, I was asking to gauge how often people think to consult LinkedIn to provide my background and credentialing to authenticate my ability to teach their course, or that of anyone they are about to meet, or interview with.

OK, so here’s a free piece of advice: look them up on LinkedIn! 

In reading their profile, find common threads or mutual interests to help guide the conversation. LinkedIn provides the gift of unanticipated connectivity between potential colleagues.

So use it well.

Before the meeting, or at the onset of a phone call. Or before you attend a speaker’s session. Or just to inquire how and why there is an opportunity that would otherwise have slipped away. Research just might lead to a much better meeting.

And that in itself can make LinkedIn a gift indeed!