Steps to Take Before Your Networking Events
Do your research. Advance research is a great solution whenever
you want to calm your nerves and make a strong impression. Browse online for
details about the event, venue, and expected crowd.
Clarify your purpose. Focus on your goals instead of the butterflies in your stomach. Maybe you want to invite two new acquaintances
out for coffee. Maybe you want to consult with experts about the impact of
recent legislation on your industry.
Bring a friend. While you eventually want to be able to muster the courage to fly solo,
companionship can help while you’re still in training. Just be sure to split up
frequently so you can mingle with others.
Volunteer your services. Transform yourself into an instant insider. Call
the hosts and offer to help with registration or escorting speakers.
You’ll probably meet more participants, and your role provides an instant
icebreaker as guests come to you for information.
Prepare small talk. Are you stumped for something to say? Read up
on breaking industry news. Write down questions you want to discuss with other
Dress the part. Appearances count too. Convey that you have a
lot in common by going along with the dress code for suits and ties, or polo
shirts and khakis. You’ll feel more at ease and start to build rapport.
Bring mints. Smell as good as you look. Fresh breath makes it easier to wow others with
what you have to say.
Steps to Take at Your Networking Events
Radiate enthusiasm. Smile wide and think positive. Remember how
beneficial the event can be for your career and how much you appreciate those
Straighten up. Good posture boosts your mood and shows others that you’re strong and
capable. Tuck your stomach
in and roll your shoulders back and down.
Make eye contact. Starting conversations with strangers can be
challenging. Establishing eye contact is a natural way to gain someone’s
attention and introduce yourself. From there, you can start chatting about the
food or the program.
interest. Guests at a networking event are likely to be eager to talk about
themselves and their business. Ask open-ended questions that keep the
conversation going. Share your own relevant experiences.
Be authentic. There’s plenty of advice available about
networking. Sift through the information for tips that match your strengths and
Slow down. Pace yourself. Be courteous and friendly to each guest, but reserve your
business cards for those colleagues you’re interested in following up with. Enjoy
your initial conversations without rushing to connect on social media or
promote your own products and services. Healthy relationships are based
on trust that grows over time.
Move along. Leave your contacts wanting more. It’s usually more productive to strike up
brief conversations and make plans to talk again later if you think you’ve
discovered a potential client or partner. That way you can dial down the
pressure and explore more options.
Show up at annual conventions and monthly luncheons ready to
make new contacts and stay in touch with old friends. Create business and
social opportunities by reaching out to others. Allow your real self to shine
through and feel your newfound confidence.