Perhaps the most intimidating thing in the world is to go up to people and introduce yourself. Here are three things you can remember that may help take some of the networking stress away:
- Others are often nervous talking to new people.
- Networking is simply a matter of building relationships!
- Try Volunteering! It's a fantastic way to open the door to conversations and it gives you something to do.
If you already love to network, that is great, too! You are the one who makes everyone feel at ease! We have put together some guidelines that will help you have the most effective networking evening.
Come with an objective. Do you want to …
- Develop your career by finding someone to help you stay current in your industry?
- Find a mentor?
- Find referrals or sales leads?
- Explore a new career possibility?
- Find someone who is facing the same challenge as you and discuss solutions?
Set some goals. For example, by the end of the evening, I will have ...
- Met three new people.
- Set two follow up meetings.
- Practiced my elevator speech with three different people.
If setting goals is overwhelming, make it fun by setting amusing goals like… I will talk to 6 different people:
- Two who are wearing glasses.
- Two who are wearing red.
- Two who are wearing brown shoes.
If attending with a friend or a group:
- Agree before the event to introduce each other to new people.
- Build your colleagues’ credibility by introducing them with interesting successes they've had.
- Be bold! Say ‘hi’ first!
- Start with someone you know.
- Find someone who is alone.
- Join a group.
Tips for Great Conversations
- Ask people about themselves. Be interested in them instead of interesting.
- Ask about hobbies, free-time activities, vacations.
- Find common ground – either through work or outside interests.
- Offer to help someone with their challenge and then follow up.
- Ask for a follow up meeting to continue your conversation; set a date and time.
- Exchange business cards: Write something on the card that will help you remember her or him. Note the date and time of the meeting you have set. Follow up with sending an Outlook or Google invite the next day.
The Break Away
- Grab some food: “I’m going to get something to eat or drink.”
- Make an introduction: “Let me introduce you to Susan, the head of HR at Mindboggle Inc.”
- Ask for an introduction: “Would you be able to introduce me to your colleague?”
- Make arrangements to continue the conversation: “Thank you for your time…perhaps we can arrange a meeting so that we can continue talking.”
Hope everyone enjoys the Summer Networking Bash!
Your ATD RMC Board