Do you enjoy one-on-one networking, however, the thought of
walking into room full of people you don’t know horrifies
you? You’re not alone. Yes, even a social butterfly,
President of the Social Committee in High School and avid
networker knows how you feel. Here are some of my tricks.
And they have all worked!
~A great way to network at a conference is to volunteer at
the registration desk. Why? You get to say hello to everyone
who registers in your line and everyone who registers gets
to see you behind the registration table. At the event,
you’ll feel more comfortable talking with people because
you’ve “met” them already. And if those aren’t enough
benefits, people will “recognize you” from the registration
desk, and be more likely to come talk with you.
~If you teach a class or speak, go into the room early. Get
a feel for it, change it around if need be, and greet
everyone who walks in with a big “hello my name is …”.
Bring name tags or recycle the tops of old manila folders,
have each person put their name on it, and put it on the
table in front of them.
~When you are planning to attend a meeting for the first
time, call up whomever you can from the organization. Ask
them if you can meet them at the meeting. Then you’ll “know”
someone that you can look for when you arrive.
~Carry a nametag in your glove compartment. Make one for
personal use, another for business use. Then people will
feel more comfortable walking up to you in meetings.
~Put your notes on the back of duplicates of pictures
(photography) you’ve taken. Then they won’t stick out so
much from the podium (like white paper or index cards do.)
~Practice some opening lines and your handshake before you
attend the event. Practice using a mirror and ask your
family to let you practice on them, too.
~Develop two a 30-second commercials (also called elevator
speeches, USP – unique selling propositions). One is for
personal use, and the other would be for business use. On a
recent telelclass I attended, provided by Jay Levinson of
Guerilla Marketing fame, suggested creating a 7 word
commercial, too. www.coachmaria.com/articles/usp.html
~Remember that everyone in that room is a human being, too.
Everyone has their own fears to deal with… and they might
even be the same as yours.