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The Networking ‘C’ word…

January 26, 2012

Confidence.

Walking into a room full of people you don’t know is daunting and can effect us all. How do you start a conversation with a complete stranger you know nothing about? How do you even find someone to approach when they all seem to be deep in conversation?

We are all daunted by the prospect of walking into a room full of strangers who are successful business men and women.

But remember, we are all there to form valuable business relationships;

Look for an open pair, this indicates they are willing to be approached. Make eye contact, and politely ask, ‘may I join you?’

Plan some introductory questions: what would get you talking?Ask relevant questions about the business and business man or woman you are talking to.

Resist the temptation to launch into a long monologue about what you do, differentiate yourself from the crowd by being the person who shows they can listen, understand the other person’s point of view and respond with questions.

Common fears are, as found here:

1) what if I say the wrong thing?
2) what if no-one wants to talk to me?
3) what if I get left with the networking bore?
4) what happens if conversation dries up or we have too many awkward silences?

These fears are irrational; with a bit of experience and preparation networking is a skill easily learnt and picked up. It is as natural as striking up conversation on the bus or train. The environment you are in is what creates the daunting feeling. Try to forget your surroundings and strike up a natural friendly conversation.

At Business Network SW we provide opportunites for you to practice your networking skills in a formal and friendly environment. To come along to an event and see how well you can develop your skills click the logo.

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