How to overcome “mental barriers” at a networking event

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 !

Jan

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