May 28, 2005
Introvert people usually find it harder to “go networking” than extravert people. That’s at least their opinion 😉
Here are some tips that can be used by introvert as well as extravert people to feel more at ease at a networking event. These tips can all be situated in the category “be the host”.
1) Your own initiative
Lots of people find it easier to forget about themselves and to serve others than do the talking and be in the center of attention. If you recognise this, a tip for you is to build a good relationship with people via a host/hostess attitude.
Things you can do:
- Get drinks or food for them
- Get brochures or other information for them
- Help them with practical questions
- And number one: introduce and connect them to others
2) Arrangement with the organisation
Lots of people in committees are volunteers. They always could help an extra hand.
So you can tell them you would love to help them out.
Things you could do:
- Help at the reception desk
- Help at welcoming people and making them feel at home
- Help at the bar
- Help at introducing people to other participants
3) Work for and with the organisation
This goes even a step further than the previous tip.
You can actively assist the organisation by taking up an official role. The advantage of being part of the organisation is the visibility you get. Moreover, if you do a good job, this “image” is transferred to your business. The other members of the organisation will be grateful too and will be more open to share their personal networks with you and introduce you to some of their contacts.
Things you could do:
- All previous things
- Welcome and assist the guest speaker or special guest (if there is one). If you do a good job, you get a connection with someone who is most likely connected with some very interesting people himself !
May 21, 2005
Lots of people already begin to tremble when they only think of “having to go networking” on an event.
My experience is that the reason is that they have “mental barriers”.
I present you three of these barriers and how to deal with them.
Barrier 1: “I don’t know anybody”
Suggestion: You are not the only one in this situation. Lots of people have this “problem”. There are several ways of dealing with it. Two of the most effective ones are:
- Look for people who are alone too and start a conversation with them. They will be grateful that you “save” them. You earn “bonus points” because you did something they didn’t dare to do: make the first contact.
- Who knows most people at an event? The organisation ! Part of their role is playing host and helping everybody to have a comfortable evening/event, including you. So approach them and ask them to introduce you to other participants.
Barrier 2: “I don’t know what to say”
Suggestion: you have always something to talk about, you just have to think harder in some occasions. When networking it is important to look for things you have in common.
Other than in private situations it is all right to ask questions like “Do you attend often this kind of meetings?” Even better is to ask open questions: “Who invited you?”, “What topic from the presentation did you like most?”, “Since when you are a member of this organisation?”,…
Barrier 3: “I doubt that I’m interesting enough for other people”
Suggestion: people find especially themselves interesting. And I mean this in a positive way. When you trigger someone on his or her passion, he or she is hard to stop.
So if you listen to other people and ask the right questions, you will be able to establish a relationship rapidly. When you really listen to people and give them all of your attention, people will automatically like you. Just give it a try and you will find out yourself !
Have a great networking day !