Laura Wooten

Freshman Jitters

By Laura Wooten, Wooten Communications

Do you remember the freshman jitters? That feeling you had on the first day of school, low woman (or man) on the totem pole?

That’s the feeling I had when I went to my first North Dallas Chamber of Commerce meeting. I knew, from talking to my friend Paul Maynard, that the Chamber is like a gym membership. You don’t get the benefits if you don’t show up.

So I forced myself to attend that first Lots O’Leads meeting.

As I walked in the door, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Everyone seemed to know one another. But I didn’t know them.

Now, I’m a pretty good networker. I don’t mind going into a room where I don’t know anyone. But it’s never easy.

Here are a few takeaways in case you are thinking of attending the Lots O’Leads meetings:

  1. Get there early so you don’t miss out on lunch! You don’t want to go back from a lunch meeting hungry!
  2. Don’t worry. The meeting format makes it easy. Each attendee gets a 30-second spot light to share their elevator speech. There is even a ticking time bomb manned by Larry Fousie to enforce the rule.
  3. It’s fun. Moderators Jay Cruzan and Beverly Miles ???  kept it moving, fun and entertaining.

Did I perfect my elevator speech during this meeting of Lots O’Leads? No. In fact, it’s still not quite there yet. But that didn’t really matter because when I got up and said I was a new NDCC member, I got a welcoming round of applause.

Laura Wooten helps small and mid-sized businesses grow through marketing and business development efforts. You may reach her at

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