By Esme Filsinger
Published on Sep 24, 2018
How to make the most out of a networking event with failsafe tips. Learn how you can become more confident with goal setting and become better at interacting, even if you are an introvert or shy!
Networking events can be super intimidating and sometimes you can leave with a feeling of disappointment, wishing you had the confidence to make the most out of the experience. I have done the research and found the best hacks to help you become that savvy entrepreneur who makes it rain* every time you walk into that business event!
*ok, maybe only business cards but we have to start somewhere, right?
Read on and then watch my video below to dig in deep!
1. Set a goal
Setting a goal gives you something solid to aim for and when you reach it, you’ll gain an instant sense of achievement, which in turn is a great confidence boost. I have gotten into the habit of setting at least one goal per event. Decide on a goal that’s just outside your comfort zone but is not too intimidating! Approach and chat to one person? Find three people to talk to? Give your business card to five people? Whatever it is, write it down (or pop it in the FREE worksheet) and stick with it! You could even put a secondary goal in case you reach your first and want more!
2. Reach out first
If only because it gives you something to do other than stand around trying to look innocuous… No really! The sense of purpose that comes with deciding to approach other people means that you won’t have time to get stuck in a mental loop about all of your imaginary inadequacies. Remember, many other people will be feeling just as awkward too so you’ll be doing them a favour as well as yourself!
3. Give value
Checking in with yourself to make sure that you are not just chasing your own objectives is more likely to invite friendship and connection. My personal mantra when I am evaluating my work is ‘where is the value’ and honestly, applying that to as many situations as possible really does make people want to reach out and get involved with your projects!
4. Balance the conversation
Conversation is always more enjoyable when both people manage to get a word in, and although it’s not just up to you, acknowledge your part in the interaction. I can be a bit of a motor-mouth if there is awkward silence to fill, but I have learned the value of asking questions and making space for answers. Conversely, don’t make the other person feel like they’re being interviewed for a job. I think what I am trying to say is, just be mindful of how you are showing up.
5. The follow up
Remember, the networking event is just the beginning of hopefully a few exciting new business relationships. The buck stops with you to drive this forward so make sure you immediately message anyone you clicked with (ok, maybe the next day is better…) and let them know that you enjoyed talking and that you’d like to keep in touch. Schedule that coffee or chat about that collaboration. You’ve got this!
I would love your feedback! Please leave a comment on my video on YouTube