Community leader hosts networking and connecting event

Entrepreneur and community leader, Samantha Vance, says be bold! Photo by Sierra Lyons

Mentor and entrepreneur Samantha Vance, hosted a community event Wednesday at Domi Station geared to women to help them build their networking and connecting skills.

The hour long event was standing room only as local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs learned key ways to build their skills in connecting with others who can be assets to the success of their business.

Vance is the Executive Director of “Ladies Learning to Lead,” an organization that helps middle school and high school girls prepare for college and professional endeavors. Vance gave the opportunity to hear men and women speak on their own personal challenges with networking, and followed up with encouraging advice for all on how to become better networkers.

Transformational Leader, Sheila Thompson Williams, volunteered to speak from the audience and shared her top two challenges with networking.

“Networking can be very over-stimulating,” Williams said. “A lot of times people’s first impression of me is wrong. If you took a little bit more than a half a second, a lot of times you’d get a different effect on people.”

Vance gave practical advice that all personality types could use.

“One, you’ve gotta be bold… two, you’ve gotta share your life,” Vance said.

According to Vance, connecting is a step further than networking where you may briefly speak with someone at an event. Connecting requires you to know exactly what you would like from the engagement with the person, and it requires you to be more vulnerable and share about your life.

Vance visually described the difference between networking and connecting by having audience members participate with $1 bills and $100 bills.

Participants with the $1 bills had conversations with Vance that definitely were important but were more brief. The participants with the $100 bills had in depth conversations that held more value and ultimately would be worth more to the success of Vance.

After the illustration, Vance gave the full room the opportunity to put her advice to action as they went around sharing business cards and practicing their communication skills.

On each seat were handouts that provided networking and connecting tips that could help attendees remember the most important takeaways from the speaking engagement.

“People do business with people they know, like, and trust,” the handout read.

To schedule a session with Samantha Vance, visit