Tips to Help You Overcome Networking Awkwardness
November 30, 2014
Here’s a great post from Inc.com listing 21 ways to overcome networking awkwardness. It is something that we all face, and it is always refreshing to hear that other people suffer from it, and that they’ve discovered ways to remedy your awkwardness away.
Below we’ve gathered our favorite 6, but be sure to follow the link for all 21!
1. Don’t just hang out with people you know
This is the single biggest mistake: We find someone we know and we clutch onto the person for the entire event. Move around the room, introduce yourself, and meet new people. Sure, it is a little challenging, but the more you do it the easier it becomes.
2. Take plenty of business cards and don’t be stingy
I’m amazed at how many people go to a networking event without business cards. Take plenty and dish them out. I have two versions–one with my mobile number on it and one without. I don’t necessarily want everyone to have my direct contact number.
3. Hang out near the food
People are always much more relaxed near the food, sharing guilty treats and laughing while they do it. This is the perfect place to meet people (and carrying extra napkins can make you very popular)
4. Enlist the aid of others to introduce you
If you want to meet someone in particular, find a friend who knows the person and ask your friend to do a personal introduction.
5. Thank the hosts of the event on your way out
Always find who is in charge of the event and make a point of personally thanking her before you leave.
6. Fast follow-up gets the best results
The best networkers are the people who actually work at networking. By this I mean they meet people, they take notes, they follow up the next day, they build relationships–they get the business.