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6 Tips for Confident Networking

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 20:  A job seeker receive...

Are you one of those rare (and very lucky ) people who enjoys networking?  
Or are you like many others?   Do you arrive at a networking event, look around at the sea of faces, then find yourself barraged by a stream of doubts and uncertainties.
Negative self talk tells you that you’re a fraud, everyone else in the room is just great.  There they are experienced business professionals at home in this environment.  While you are just pretending, you don’t really know what you are doing!
And on top of you’re going to forget your speech, you won’t remember anyone else’s name and there is a very good chance you will forget your own!
The “sensible” part of you tells you not to be so silly.  But there you are with these negative thoughts and anxieties in your head. 
Relax and take a deep breath, then tell your brain it has more important things to think about!  No, you are not going to have a heart attack as you take the floor.  You’ve got this under control and here are some tips to help!  
  1. Relax, take a deep breath, and smile!  Taking in Oxygen deeply can steady nerves and lower your heart rate!  Smiling releases endorphins and makes you feel more comfortable.
  2. Practice positive self-talk.  We all have some negative thoughts.  Be conscious of them and then cut them off.  Recognize them for what they are.  Then replace them.  As you approach the event fill your head with the repeated thought that you are confident and successful;  People like you.   Tell yourself firmly that you are going to do well and that people will be impressed.  Say it very loudly and firmly in your own head.  You can say out it loud in private at home before you go as well – repeat, repeat, repeat!  
  3. Have a great elevator speech and practice it ahead of time. This is a short paragraph or two that describes who you are and what your business does.  Give it punch - make it interesting, informative, and memorable.  Practice delivering it at home with confidence and don’t rush.
  4. Be memorable. What is it about you and your business that makes you unique?  Work it out then be quite clear about it.  Don’t be afraid to tell people – make it part of your branding
  5. Have good contact material! Make sure you always have business cards with you with up-to-date contact information. It is worth investing in a good business card that you feel proud of.  They help you to feel very comfortable handing them out at networking events.
  6. Be yourself and show an interest in others. Expect people to like you – tell yourself they will.  People like people who show an interest in them, and that is what you are going to do.  Remember you are bringing them a gift - your talents and experience and there can be no one else just like you! 
Now you are ready to get started.  Off you go and enjoy your networking.    
Do you have any tips for confident networking?  I’d love to hear them!
Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Writer.  She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;
  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement
  • wanting to do a mid-life review
You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114 Related articles Building Self- Confidence (cmaankur.wordpress.com) Confidence- the evidence that you can overcome any barriers (successnetwork.wordpress.com) Unemployed - Interview Techniques - Behavioural or Competency Based Interviewing (leavingthepublicsector.blogspot.com)

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