Busying yourself with phones, not making any eye contact, pretending to look for someone and other awkward antics …. now if this is starting to sound familiar then you may need some encouragement when it comes to networking.
So rather than finding it excruciating, let’s work on a few useful tools to help..
#1 Prepare and be early
Before you head to an event, spare some time to analyse what you want to get out of it. Aside from that, think as well about what you can share with others.
Also, make sure you arrive early. If you can connect with some one early on then that will give you the confidence to strike up a rapport with others later on.
#2 Bring a Conference Buddy
Having a buddy at events makes the day less intimidating. So bring a friend or a colleague.
If you fly solo, try at least to make one connection. This way, you can have someone you can talk to and sit with during lunch and breaks.
#3 Start with Small Talks
It can be tough for someone to initiate a conversation. If you are attending an event solo, try to relax and start with small talk. There’s actually nothing wrong about you starting the conversation and don’t fret about not saying something clever.
If there’s a pause in the conversation, don’t worry about it. It’s not necessary all about filling in the silence. Also, don’t be tempted to blurt out, chances are you will cringe at something you did during the conversation.
#4 Listening is important than talking
Most of us enjoy talking about ourselves most especially when people asked about us. If you are in a group and you observe people are talking all about themselves, let them be. Listen to what they say and prepare a handful of open-ended questions.
Don’t forget as well to have some little nuggets to share about yourself.
#5 Challenge Yourself
If you want to break from being reluctant and anxious at talking to strangers or be in a crowd, now is the time to challenge yourself.
Start by netfriending. Mingle with people whom you think you can get vibes with. Identify one or two that you think can possibly become your friends. In the long run, you will reap the benefits of improving yourself and not to easily shy away from what you used to be.