Are you an introvert? Do you dread the idea of attending a networking event? Want to be successful in your professional life?
Regardless of if you’re a banking professional or even a dog groomer, reaching out to make new connections is essential for future business success.
Good news! We’ve got some sure-fire tips to help you overcome the networking jitters and help you get on your way to working a room with ease.
1. Smile. Whether you’re feeling it or not, the act of smiling alone has been proven to lift your mood. While you’re meeting new people, smile and be aware of your body language. Remember to keep your posture open and your eyes up. Folded arms and looking down can convey you as closed off and shy or unapproachable. And be proactive in introducing yourself. Don’t stand in the corner and wait for other attendees to come to you.
2. Dress appropriately. Think about the nature of the event you’re attending and the season. You’d dress totally differently at an evening business get-together than at a fun afternoon out at a baseball game.
3. Set a goal. Ask yourself why you’ve signed up for the event. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to meet at least five new people? Meet someone in a specific field? Know your goal ahead of time. If a guest list is available ahead of time, you might want to ask to see it.
4. Practice your intro. Be able to confidently introduce yourself, shake hands and ask others questions. Though you want to speak, you also want to remember to be a good listener, too. Show sincerity and interest when you’re engaged in conversation. Look to find common ground with people. When you share a similar interest, a connection is more natural and you’re more likely to remember that individual at future events.
5. Follow up. If you’ve connected with someone at the event and have decided on a future meeting of some kind, be sure to follow up with him or her in a prompt manner. Don’t do it while at the event, but bring a notepad and pen to have in your vehicle for afterwards. Before heading home and while the info is fresh, jot down notes to yourself (or utilize the note or reminder feature on your cell phone).
Heed the above advice and you’re sure to be on your way to networking success at your next event.
Nikki Murry is editor of Berks County Living magazine and a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and blogger. In her free time she is an active dog rescue volunteer and enjoys spending time with her 14-year-old son, Riley, and her three dogs: Buddha and Shelly, French Bulldogs, and Bruno, a Boston Terrier.