Networking can be scary especially for first time attendees. It can feel extremely intimidating for Introverts.
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List every frightening thought.
What if . . .
Nobody speaks to me.
I say something stupid.
I have to stand in the corner and eat lunch by myself?
OMG!! WHAT AM I DOING? WHY AM I HERE??
I know these feelings well. More than once, I’ve driven to the end of my street, turned around and came home. I’ve panicked! I’ve arrived at an event then pretended I had important calls to return.
Then, I remembered something I learned at a workshop. Volunteer to help with registration. It’s a good way to meet people.
I helped with registration not because it’s a great way to meet people, but because it was something to do. Helping with registration was my saving grace when I first began networking. I had a task, something to do. I could follow the script, “Hello. Welcome. “
Following the script meant I didn’t have to make small talk. I didn’t have to hide in the ladies room or pretend I had calls to make. I was present. I had a role, a purpose.
Because not everyone can help with registration, here are tips to help you prepare to attend networking functions.
1) Bring lots of business cards.
2) Confirm the date, time and location. Get directions.
3) Prior to the event, find out if there is anything special you need to know, bring, etc. Is there a theme? What is the timeline? Business attire?
Knowing the basics is helpful.
4) If you are concerned you won’t know anyone, or if making small talk is challenging, ASK to be introduced.
5) Have Fun!
Knowing what to expect and being prepared will help attending events feel less scary and intimidating. When things feel less scary, they’re easier to manage.
Not only was helping with registration my saving grace when I started networking, it led me to where I am today. You can read my story here. Today, I own a top-rated networking organization, West Valley Women, and help Introverts learn to network in a way that feels good to them. I have 20+ years working both sides of the table. I jokingly tell people I have a PhD in nametags.
I can assure you, networking is an art, a skill and can be learned.
Being prepared is the first step. Understanding and implementing the 5 Secrets to Successful Networking™ is the next.
Helping with registration is one way to get through the mix and mingle part of a networking function. Having a task or knowing your purpose is another. Having clear specific goals will help.
Join me for the free 5 Secrets to Successful Networking™ webinar Thursday, September 5. In this webinar, I will share the 5 Secrets to Successful Networking™ and how using them will help ease the pain of networking.
Reply to this post with Count Me In. I will send you the Zoom link.
In the webinar, I will share tips on how you can write your own script, a script that will help you feel comfortable when networking.
Everyone who preregisters will receive their very own Top-Secret Networking Instruction Manual.
Join me Thursday, September 5, 3 pm, AZ time for the free 5 Secrets to Successful Networking™ webinar.
The webinar will be recorded.
5 Secrets to Successful Networking™ Webinar
Thursday, September 5
3 pm, AZ time
Presented by Coach Lisa