Networking events can be a daunting experience for many – how do I approach people? What if everyone knows each other already?
No need to panic.. Everyone is in the same boat. Remember that ultimately, networking is a conversation. You’ve been talking to people your entire life, so you pretty much have all of the skills and experience you need.
There are 3 things you will need to prepare for a networking event – these being your 30 second elevator speech, a handful of business cards, and confidence!
How to Perfect Your Pitch.
Developing your 30 second elevator pitch isn’t as tough as it seems, but here are some tips on how to go about it:
- Brief introduction – your name and job title.
- Brief synopsis of who your company is, what your company does, or about the types of products you sell.
- Finish with a call to action – transition the conversation over to them.. A great way of doing this is to ask a question – e.g. “Enough about me! What part of your work are you most passionate about?”
No business cards for the event?
If you recently ran out, your cards are on order, or your company don’t provide business cards. No problem..
You can order online and have them shipped overnight to your office. There are also print centers that offer same day printing within a few hours. Alternatively, LinkedIn is the new business card – why not get their details and connect!
Confidence is key!
Everyone is nervous. Remember to relax! Once you get your first conversation out of the way, you will feel exhilarated and get into the swing of things.
The goal is to meet new people and to expand your network. While engaging with someone, ask questions about them and their company; how they came into their current role; what they are passionate about.