When you walk into a company presentation, what's your goal? To learn more about the company? It should be for the company to learn more about you. Most of what you're going to learn in a company presentation, you can learn on the internet. The real point of attendance is to begin building relationships that can ultimately lead to a job offer. Here's how to stand out above the crowd.
1. Arrive early and introduce yourself. Balance this to arrive early, but not so early you're interrupting the presenter's set-up. Read the room when you walk in to determine where they are in their readiness to present. If you can tell they are still getting ready, introduce yourself with something like, "Hi, I'm Olivia Adler. Thanks for being here today." Then, sit down and stay out of their way so they can set up. If they are ready to present, they might be hoping for a conversation before they get started. If so, introduce yourself, and ask a small talk question like, "How was your flight?"
2. Ask a well informed question during the presentation. At some point during the presentation, the speaker will ask for questions. The anxiety level will shoot up, and most people will be quiet. Do not be one of those people. Have several well informed questions ready, and ask the one that best fits with the flow of the presentation. Never ask if a company sponsors international students. Try not to ask something you could easily discover on the internet. Instead, ask a question that fits with the positioning you plan to present to the company.
3. Follow up. After the presentation, take a minute to thank the presenter and exchange business cards. Often, there will not be time for a meaningful exchange at the end because so many people will be fighting for attention. That's OK. You made your impression with step 1 and 2. With the contact information in hand, you can follow up for an informational interview, and continue to build solid relationships to move your job search forward.