Easier Introductions at Networking Events

Some people really dislike networking events. Why? Well, there are a few common reasons, although the one I hear time after time is: anxiety about introducing yourself to new contacts.

You may be familiar with that nervous feeling as you meet someone new and try to start a conversation. Here are some suggestions that you can include in your introduction with new people that may help take the edge off for you.

  • Remember to tell others your name and your business!
    Yes, this really does happen. I was at a networking event, and someone came over to talk to me. We spoke for a few minutes about their business and their experience with referral networking before they had to excuse themselves. I then I realized that I had never gotten their name, even though they knew mine. If your goal is to introduce yourself to a new contact and leave a lasting impression, definitely make sure you tell them your name.
  • Find common ground.
    One of the best ways to quickly begin establishing a relationship is to find something about your new contact that you can relate to, or you have in common. This also alleviates the pressure when having a conversation with someone new, as it will spark topics you are both comfortable talking about.
  • Ask questions about the other person.
    People love to talk about themselves and their business. Everyone finds it easy to talk about things they know well, and what do people know better than themselves? This will allow the other person to take the lead on the conversation in a positive way, and it helps you learn more about them. The caveat here is to make sure you are asking genuine questions. Asking nonsense questions just to keep asking questions is quite transparent and will negatively impact how you are perceived.
  • Be memorable.
    If you can stand out from the crowd and make yourself unforgettable (in a positive way), you are more likely to develop professional relationships. This is most effective when you are in a one-to-one meeting with somebody rather than in a group setting. When appropriate, use a quirk about yourself, your business, etc., that can resonate with that specific person. This one requires a bit of social intelligence, but when it is done right, it is highly effective.

When you implement these suggestions, you may find it much easier to introduce yourself to someone new at a networking event. Then do it again at the next meeting or event. The more you do it, the easier it gets; nervousness and anxiety diminish, and confidence builds. 

How do you handle meeting someone new at networking events? Leave your reply below.




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