Not all of us are naturals at small talk, but at networking events, mastering this skill is key and can lead to fruitful business relationships. Networking is a great opportunity to mingle, but for an introvert, this reality may seem nerve wracking…but, have no fear, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you network like a pro.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
Before heading to Pubcon, take a couple hours to prepare and figure out who will be there and what it is that they do. For each person you hope to network with, prepare at least 3 topics of conversation so that when you do strike up a conversation, you aren’t at a loss for words. Have questions prepared to ensure you get the most out of your conversation. Once you get the ball rolling, the conversation will progress naturally.
Tip #2: Ask for Advice
A good networking technique is to ask the person to educate you. People love talking about themselves, especially when it comes to their field of expertise. Pick their brain and continue to ask questions. Not only will it be a great learning experience, but you’ll have made a new contact.
Tip #3: Be Willing to Share Your Expertise
Conversations are a two-way street. Always be open to share your knowledge with others so that you can both benefit, equally. The great part about this is no prep work goes into talking about what you know best– your field!
Tip #4: Reach Out Before the Conference
Before attending a conference, take the time to send a quick email or create a social post that lets some of your attendees know you’re eager to be there and to meet them. Taking the time to do this can go a long way. It also takes the pressure off of you because they are already anticipating connecting with you.
Tip #5: Remember, Everyone Wants to Meet You
If you’re nervous, remember that everyone is there for the same reason as you– to connect with new people and develop new contacts. There’s no need to feel insecure about approaching people, because they genuinely welcome the encounter. Always keep this in the back of your mind as you navigate through networking events!
We hope these quick tips have been helpful and that you feel a bit more prepared to tackle networking events. Put your phone away and connect with all the brilliant minds around you!
Do you have a great networking tip that we didn’t mention here? Drop it in the comments below!