As we approach the holidays, this is a great time to channel your inner networker. Whether you are hosting a party, doing community service or attending a performance, these events can double as unique networking opportunities. The most important thing is to be ready for a chance encounters. Make sure that you can explain who you are and what you do in 60 seconds or less. Remember to carry extra business cards with you and be networking minded. Here are a few more tips to extend your networking cheer during the holiday season. The Social Networker If you are attending a work gathering or holiday party, keep your networking antennas up. Besides talking about movies, entertainment, travel or current events, also talk about your goals for the upcoming year. In those three or four goals, include a business goal. This can open the dialogue for you to explain your business, products, services, events etc. If you are a student, include in your goals, the desire for getting an internship or job opportunity. If you are a working professional, include in your goals, any professional or social development objectives. Also, find creative ways of making the conversations fun as well as productive for your networking agendas. The Community Networker The holidays present perfect opportunities to connect with individuals and organizations from a community outreach standpoint. Use these opportunities to volunteer in a diverse spectrum. In other words, you can volunteer though your church or religious organization as well as through your work, alumni association, local community, school(s) of your children, etc. At these events, get to know the other volunteers and find additional shared interests and overlapping networks.