You make a dash for the elevator and slide in as the door is closing. Cozy: It’s just you and the CEO.
Yes, this might be your chance to make a good impression. But it could also be one of his only Zen moments in the day. Do what makes you feel most comfortable, whether that’s just offering a confident hello and exiting the elevator with “Have a good day” or adding something more in between. But be sure to skip the overzealous pitch. In any close encounter with a person who intimidates you―be it the CEO in the elevator or an elected official sitting next to you on an airplane―it’s important to remember that he or she is also “looking to make connections and wants to know from you how things are going,” says Fitter Sloane.
If he or she seems in the mood to chat after introductions, say something about the person’s latest achievement, whether it’s a huge merger or a new city park, says public-relations executive Sean Cassidy, of DKC, a firm in New York City. And if you have an idea that you’re bursting to share, ask if you could e-mail it to an assistant.