Nine Networking Tips
Our daily lives are surrounded by technology, which enables us to create online networks and communities. In this landscape, in-person networking and making new connections can feel like an awful lot of work. If networking feels like an effort rather than enjoyable, consider these nine creative networking tips that may help ease the process for you, and make it seem a little more fun.
1. Use anecdotes
Initial encounters with a bunch of strangers can either end up boring them or make them interested in talking further. Use intriguing stories that lead other people to gain insights about your specific endeavors real incidents, or inspiring people.
2. Be present
Talking to another person requires concentration, and so when the other person feels like you are yawning too much, using your phone or looking here and there, it develops a wrong impression and makes them feel as if you are uninterested. Be present!
We sometimes get nervous and may end up saying nonsense in an effort to 'breaking the ice.' It is only natural to feel jittery during meetings with strangers, and one might falter between the thin lines of trying to make an impact and making the wrong impression… The best approach is to have confidence in yourself and what you have to say.
Connect with like-minded people
Try to create a bond with people who are into the same sport as you or have a mutual hobby such as gardening or reading. The edge you gain by doing so is that you can connect on a deeper level. This way, it may become more natural to bond over business deals or collaborations, and less room is left for suspicion and doubt.
Use social media for networking.
Although this article is focusing on in-person networking, social media is a great tool to discover people, platforms, and organizations and connect with them for collaboration or learning purposes. Many people list their interests and passions on their profiles, so this can be an opportunity to spark a conversation.
Offer more than you ask for
Never give an impression of only freeloading off someone by invariably seeking. Instead, look for ways to help people in whatever way you can. Helping other people out can make the others feel inclined to return the favor, so next time you want a favor, they are all ears.
Don't look desperate
Do not agitate the other person by relentlessly trying to exert pressure or coercing them into listening to you. This will likely be a turn off to the other person. The idea is to make them listen to you and not drive them away!
Listen more than you talk.
It is often said that we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak. This adage speaks to the importance of listening. When this wisdom is ignored, people come off self-centered or narcissistic.
An important part of networking is following up and maintaining the connection. You can do this by providing feedback and reiterating about yourself to the other person via mail or text messages