Newsletter April 05
Going to a networking event
Networking is an activity that is becoming increasingly more important in work, business and social aspects.
A part of the Networking process involves attending formal or informal networking events, where we are often faced with speaking to people we don’t know.
What are some of the basics of networking that will help us get the most out of these events?
First let me share with you my definition:
‘Networking is the process of meeting people, and forming and developing relationships for the benefit of all parties concerned’
If we work from this fundamental, then meeting people, getting to know them, and forming some sort of connection with just some of the people there, is all we need to do at any event. Nothing more scary than that!
What can we do that will help?
Be aware that most people have some level of shyness about meeting others. If you feel nervous, remember that over 90% of people will also feel nervous too.
When at an event, stand, don’t sit. Once you sit down, it’s hard to get to meet others.
Don’t stay with people you know. Aim to meet at least one or two new people.
Getting to speak to people
Go early – it’s easier to speak to people as they arrive, than to enter an event in full swing.
Speak to someone standing on their own – people always appreciate company.
To break into a group, look at the groups and seek out one where not all of them are in animated conversation, and there is someone who looks open to having someone join them. They may be looking around or have an openness of body language.
What to say?
After you’ve said “Hello” you don’t need to say anything ‘impressive’. People are not so interested in what you say, but in how you come across.
93% of communication is non-verbal, so what the other person will be looking for is a feeling for whether you are the kind of person they can relate to – do you have a warmth of personality, are you at ease, interested, etc
A good rule of thumb is to talk about ‘universals’, namely things that anyone can converse on. Situational aspects will do – eg the weather, the venue, the event, the food, the coffee, the speaker you just listened to.