Going to your first networking event can be quite daunting. For many, it’s a step outside of their comfort zone, especially if they’re quite shy or aren’t very confident. But for others, they step in and get right into the spirit or networking – making it look super-easy and effortless.
No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, the main thing you want to get across is how friendly and approachable you are. You want people to remember you and your business after the event, so you’re the person they think of if they need the service or product you’re providing.
So how exactly, do you make that first impression a good one and how do you make yourself memorable at a networking event?
Here’s 7 tips to help you shine at your next networking event.
#1: State your first and last name
By only stating your first name, you’re increasing the chance of the other person forgetting your name. Add your last name, to make it easier for them to remember you.
#2: Explain what you do
If you want people to know what you do, explain it in simple terms. If you state who it is you help and what you help them with (i.e. I help x with y), it’s easier to remember, compared to your official job title – especially if your title isn’t a standard one (such as solicitor or banker).
#3: Be interested in the other person
A person at a networking event is going to remember you after the networking event has ended if you took the time to be interested in them. People like to feel special – and there’s no better way to help them feel this way, than by showing how interesting they are.
#4: Ask questions
The key to asking questions is to mix personal and professional. You want to talk about a range of topics, with 70% of your questions dedicated to their business and work, and 30% to them. Don’t make the personal too personal though and look to ask the questions you’d like to have been asked if you were in their shoes.
#5: Be positive and happy
When you’re feeling optimistic and happy, it shows in your body language. The way you stand, how you interact with other people and whether you appear genuine or not. So, try to always be positive and happy – it’ll help you be memorable.
#6: Be confident in yourself and your abilities
Another great trait to have is that of confidence. This isn’t always about being the life and soul of the party – but it is about being sure of your skills and talents.
#7: Be polite
When at a networking event, always remember your manners. It’s amazing how a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘great to meet you’ can make someone’s day, so take the time to be polite. One of the easiest ways to show how polite you are is to look at the person who’s talking to you – and not over their shoulder at your next target!
If you take the time to follow the steps above, you’ll be giving the room your best side and showing them what a great person you are – regardless of whether the people you interact with are your ideal client, a potential colleague or just someone you bumped into at an event.