Handing over your business card — it’s not as easy as you think

When networking at an international event, your actions are important as not everyone will speak your language. So, you need to make yourself memorable for all the right reasons when handing over your business card.

By Alison Gardner, account executive and international PR expert at Stone Junction.

Handing over your card might seem like second nature, but how it looks and how you present it can determine someone’s first impression of you.

What’s on your card?

Make sure your card is easy to read and has all the appropriate information, such as your job title, phone number and e-mail.

At international events, most people will understand the essential information on your business card no matter what language they speak – but it is always best to respect their native language.

In Spain, for example, you should have a business card with your language on one side and Spanish on the other. Always present the card with the Spanish side facing the other person.

Some cultures also value your educational background. For example, in India, your card should list all university qualifications and in Italy, any post-graduate qualifications are valued.

How you present your card

Think about when you should hand out your card and how.

Find out if there are any specific ways to hand over your card. In China, for example, you need to hand over your business card with both hands to be respectful.

In Germany, handing out your card is a sign of valuing this individual business relationship – so be discreet and do not openly pass your business card to everyone at an event.

How you receive the card

Make sure you take the time to read the card properly. Show interest by asking more questions about their business.

Then, place the card somewhere safe. Just throwing it in your pocket can be seen as disrespectful.

Good first impressions are vital. So, next time you hand over your business card, think about how you do it.

With Stone Junction’s international PR offering, you can become a global networking expert and help your business grow abroad. For more information call +44 (0)1785 225 416 or e-mail alison@stonejunction.co.uk.


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