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Friday, 13 March 2015

Are You a Nervous Networker? Tips to Help.

Are You a Nervous Net-worker? Tips to Help.

Are you one of those rare (and very lucky ) people who enjoys networking?   Or do you arrive at a networking event, look around at the sea of faces, then find yourself overwhelmed by a stream of doubts and uncertainties? Here are some tips to help

Negative self talk can tell you that you’re a fraud and everyone else in the room is just great.  There they are, experienced business professionals, at home in this environment.  While you feel like you are just pretending and you don’t really know what you are doing!

On top of that you think you are going to forget what to say. 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 all these negative thoughts and anxieties in your head. 


Well it doesn't have to be like that. These tips will help! 


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!  
  1. Relax, take a deep breath, and smile!  Taking in Oxygen deeply can steady nerves and lower your heart rate!  Smiling releases endorphin 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/or your job/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 carry 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 will help you to feel very comfortable handing them out at 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! Listen more then you speak. You'll be surprised how much people appreciate a good listener.
Now you are ready to get started.  Off you go and enjoy your networking.  If you feel networking is particularly difficult for you, then please get in touch. I'm life coach who specializes in helping people to feel more confident.   

Wendy Smith (formerly Wendy Mason) is  a life coach and writer committed to helping people be happy and fulfilled at home and at work. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com