The personal connection

I recently attended the Social Media Camp in Victoria. While there were many incredible speakers talking about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and sharing best practices, the speaker who resonated the most with me didn’t speak about social media at all.

David Knapp-Fisher spoke about the importance of the personal connection. He talked about putting down the technology and actually connecting face-to-face with the people around us. A novel idea.

A key takeaway from his talk was be the first to say hello. It’s really that simple. So few of us take the time and actually acknowledge and connect with people in a meaningful way. It’s not about adding a new friend on Facebook, but rather saying hello and making a personal connection.

This stuck with me throughout the conference. Low and behold the next morning I was checking out of my hotel and standing next to me was Rory Capern, Managing Director of Twitter Canada. As I sat down to have my breakfast and noticed Rory in the restaurant, David’s words were echoing in my head. So I picked up my breakfast and asked Rory if I can eat with him.

Turns out we had lots in common – went to the same university, have family in the same community and have a love for the west coast. I took the moment to be the first to say hello and instead of eating my breakfast staring at my phone, I had an engaging conversation with some with a shared life experience. And it only took a simple word – hello.