Category Archives: Networking

Overcoming “Stranger Danger” with the Power of Conversation

“Stranger danger” is a catchy phrase coined by Keith Rollag in his 2015 book, “What To Do When You’re New”. It’s what some people experience whenever walking into a room full of strangers at a conference, event, or meet up.

Of course, there’s that nagging added pressure from your boss, reminding you to “make good connections”.

Susan Jeffers, the Guru of Fear,  was an American psychologist and in her popular 2011 book , “Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway, she delves into the different types of fear and how to handle them.

So what’s the price you’re willing to pay by not introducing yourself to someone new who could help with information that might lead to a first job, a new job, a change in career so that you can do something passionate day in, day out?


And what’s the price you’re willing to pay by not walking up to someone who could be a potential mentor and shaking hands and instead you end up staying lost in a sea of indecision and quandary?

What’s the price you’re willing to pay by not meeting and greeting potential clients who could become your clients so that you can turn your business around?

That price is steep. How can the power of conversation help you connect better with someone new? “Fearless Networking: Connecting Creatively and Confidently” is our half-day professional skill-building workshop at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and open to everyone! Learn how our “Five Hacks for Powerful Networking” can help you handle “stranger danger”.  We’ll also take a closer look at your current network and learn how to make it more effective. Why not register and jump in on a Saturday morning session – Feb 23rd or Jun 15th?  Discover and then boost your networking IQ!

The Art of Conversation – The Toronto Dream Network

Dream Network #7 – JANUARY 16, 2019 

Our groups have been averaging 6 or 7 which turns out to be our sweet spot.  We were 8 this drop-in #7.

Fun fact – 3 of us were born in Canada – Ottawa, Toronto, Moose Jaw and the rest were from Sri Lanka, S. Korea, Moldova, Iran, Pakistan!

An interesting map of all the places we discussed and


  1. Not only is the AGO free after 6 on Wednesdays but also AGO is free for students AGO Free After Three  for youth ages 14 to 25.
  2. One of our members got his first full time professional job in Canada at OMD!
  3. We toured Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka over the holidays via slide show of  spectacular photos taken with a new Google Pixel 3 XL of family, tea plantations, food, and the Lexis Hibiscus in Port Dickson, Malaysia.
  4. New friends, a Chem rockstar from SDZ Ryerson and an Iranian Azeri now living with his roommate from my hometown Moose Jaw and working as an engineer in Vaughan. We heard a fascinating tale of true grit chasing a dream of becoming a helicopter pilot.
  5. Another member took time out from working on her Master’s in Public Health and her practicum at Baycrest Centre . Lots of talk  on how to take care of dogs, big (Ridgeback) and small (Maltese) and the most unusual and remarkable thing that dogs can learn how to do.

Introducing the new $245 m Calgary Public Library, East Village near Downtown Calgary Dec 2018

  1. Drone pilots might be the trending skill in demand.
  2. It’s been almost a year since two of our members attended my networking workshop: “Hacking the Networking Code” at U of T SCS. Renamed “Fearless Networking – Connecting Creatively & Confidently”, our next workshop is now a new half-day format on Feb 23rd from 9am to 12:30pm.
  3. Two more upcoming networking events which I’ll be facilitating:
  1. Our friendly barista at AGO Espresso Bar is a also Psychology student at York U and is  a musician who loves to help people. He traveled to Chang Rai, northern Thailand, 4 years ago and volunteered for 4 months at “New Life Foundation” a mindfulness support center set up by a Belgian entrepreneur for those who are recovering from addiction.

Thanks everyone for sharing. Our next meetup is February 27, 2019 and an invite will be out soon. Guests are most welcome.

How Improv Can Help You Become a Better Networker



Sapphire neon tumbleweeds, 2016
Dale Chihuly (American GLASS ARTIST, b. 1941

Improv or improvisation is often thought of as comedy with quick and snappy witticisms and can be very entertaining. The Second City is “The World’s Premier School of Comedy”! Who else has alumni such as John Candy, Tina Fey, Mike Meyers, Alan Alda, Steve Carrell, Eugene Levi, Amy Poehler to name a few?

As a recent grad of “RewireU”, an intensive 2.5 day improv workshop at Second City this summer, I aspire to the next level of improv classes. And I have also made improv an integral part of our #networking workshops at University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.

“Yes and” (The Second City mantra) here are the 5 ways that #improv can help you become a better networker:

  1.  Make friends with uncertainty and change – be comfortable with reacting in unpredictable situations.
  2.  Get clear value – gain clarity on how you perceive yourself, what you bring to the table, and how you describe what you have to offer, your “brand”, your value.
  3. Act decisively – make quick decisions and be comfortable in changing your decisions.
  4. Build self-confidence – learn to speak clearly. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Get comfortable with silence and the power of the pause.
  5. Know your physical presence – how do you stand? Where do you sit in a meeting? How do you enter a room?

Why not join us on November 3rd Saturday to learn more about “Hacking the Networking Code”? Discover how you can shift your mindset from seeing networking as a necessary evil to creating opportunities for growth and building quality relationships and an amazing network. “Yes and” click here to register now or contact Jean Chow at for more details.