10 Networking Tips for Shy Professionals

10 Top Tips on how to survive your next networking event…

1. Work on your handshake.
You don’t want to come across weak and uncomfortable or overconfident and intimidating.
Practice with someone; make your handshake perfect.

2. Watch your body language.
Make sure your body language is consistently confident, strong and friendly, without coming across too relaxed or bored by the situation.
55% of human communication is non-verbal. What’s your body giving away?

3. Get there early.
There won’t be as many people around, so the environment will be a lot less intimidating.
It gives you a chance to ease yourself into the situation – and get a good spot.

4. Practice your USP (Unique Selling Pont).
You need to mention:
Your company.
Your clients.
What you do.
Why you’re so good at it.
What your future goals are.

5. Be yourself.
Be human and be friendly – people want to know that they’re talking to someone just like them, who they can build a (working) relationship with and who isn’t irritating and arrogant.

6. Don’t waffle.
Just be conversational and try to enjoy yourself.
If you find yourself talking substantially more than the other person then stop, take a breath and ask them a question about themselves.

7. You can talk about different things.
You don’t have to spend the entire day talking about work – if a conversation progresses onto a more fun/ personal topic then that’s fine.
This is a sign that you and that person are bonding and they’re much more likely to remember you.

8. Make notes.
After you’ve met a valuable acquaintance, jot some notes down about them, what they do and roughly the kind of conversation you had – this will help for future communication.
You can pick up a lot of business cards at these events and it’s not easy to remember everyone.

9. Follow up with your connections.
Connect with people on LinkedIn (for future reference) as well as popping across an email to follow up on any queries or conversations you might have had.

10. Give and take.
Consider sharing resources, advice, customers and other contacts if necessary.
People will always be thinking about the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor – nothing comes for free in business.