5 Tips to Effectively Network in Person
Master Face-to-Face Networking!
“Networking” is a buzzword that many professionals have conflicting feelings towards. While working a room full of business professionals may come naturally to some, 40% of people are more comfortable engaging with colleagues online rather than in person. Making in person connections will undeniably help your career! How do you master challenging face-to-face situations and walk out of your next networking event with new connections?
Read on for 5 tips to help you effectively network in person:
Before you attend your next professional networking event, spend some time mentally preparing. If being put on the spot makes you nervous, write down some ice-breaker questions and practice your elevator pitch ahead of time. Be sure to think of what you would like to share about yourself as well and what you have to offer, this will help you feel more confident to carry on any conversation you get into!
2: Find a Networking Buddy
Having an ally in your court can make any networking event much less intimidating. Invite a colleague or a friend with similar professional interests to join you. Not only will you have someone to sit with during meal breaks, you can cover twice the event with joined forces. This can help you relax and enable you to get the most out of the event and even have fun!
3: Be Present
Once you have struck up a conversation, do your best to stay present in the moment. Don’t try to guess what the other person is thinking or what you should say next. This is a great opportunity to exercise your listening skills and ask lots of questions to help forge a genuine connection.
4: Graceful Exits
Remember that quality over quantity is key when it comes to networking! Try not to rush to end conversations. As all good things must come to an end, exit each conversation as gracefully as possible. Leave the conversation open ended and showing that you were engaged, for example, “It was great catching up. Please let me know how the rest of your project goes.”
5: Follow Up
Following up with your new connections is key to keeping your networking circle alive. Keep in touch with each new connection you make on a personal and professional level, even if it’s a simple LinkedIn invitation. You never know what the future may hold!
I try to attend at least two networking events per month, if I leave with one strong connection it was definitely worth my time. So take a deep breath and leave any awkwardness you may be feeling at the door! When you prepare yourself ahead of time you will walk into your next networking event with confidence and a great attitude. The outcome of the evening is up to you, so make the most of it and see your network flourish.
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