Any tips on "Networking"?
I have an event tomorrow night, lots of people from my industry. I am nervous. How do I approach, what do I talk about. Btw, I am still a student.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
1. Understand your goal. I think it is pretty clear in your case: build up your network.
2. Use the time wisely before the event. Do you know any people around you who will go the the event? If so, uou can tag along with them and possibly they can introduce you to a couple people.
3. Arrive early to get 1 on 1 time. It is tough to break in a circle of people who already knows each other or there are a lot of people. Therefore the best time to meet people is when there is not too much competition. Approach someone who is milling around or waiting something to happen.
4. Prepare yourself an introduction of 30 or 60 seconds. Say that you're a student. Unless you have impressive background to talk about, I suggest you to ask good question and stop and listen. The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot - it is you can invite others to talk a lot. Ask softball questions like, “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “What brings you to this event?” Then listen. Ironically, you'll be remembered as an interesting person.
5. Break into circles of people. As mentioned, this is diffuclt thus it would be the best to target small and easy group. Another tips is don't feel bad to jump out if you find yourself unable to catch up with the topic and you feel uninterested.
6. Unveil your passions. Although you may want to demostrate that how suitable you are for the industry.. blah blah blas, it is boring to talk only about business. During networking, your passions make you an interesting person--you'll stick out because you're the only person not talking about the technical jargons at the industry event. Personally, my passions are digital photography, design and hockey...
7. Invite people to talk to you. once you're in a circle, you should make sure to invite people to talk to you. So make a hole for people to come join you, if you can, by standing somewhat perpendicular to the other people. And if people come by and stand there, stop the conversation and introduce yourself. That way it'll be easy for people to join the conversation, rather than feeling excluded.
8. Follow up. Although this item does not address directly your question, this is essential as part of networking. Read through the business card you got and shoot a short email to them. "Nice to meet you. I hope I have chance to learn more about the market / your company / ... "
9. Give favor. Just a side note - as a student sometimes it might be possible that you have resources others don't have. For example, if you are really interested in getting an internship in a company, you can signal that you are willing give out your time for free....
10. Read through the reference below, I hope this helps ;)
- 1 decade ago
Networking...everyone's worst nightmare...well mine anyway :) It will be easier if they are from the same industry as you as you will know already there is some common ground for ice breaking :) Hopefully somone you know will be there then you can network together which always helps.
If you brush up on the general issues in your industry at the moment so that your facts are fresh and accurate and steer clear of anything too controversial cuz the last thing you wanna do is to commit social suicide by broaching a controversial topic with the wrong person. Depending on the industry your in, it may be worth keeping any controversial opinions you may have in check too....networking is about making contacts whom you can do business with in the future, or making contacts of mutual benifit.
Its important in my opinion to make sure that you are up to date with the current issues and problems in your industry as it will give your potential contacts the confidence that you are going places with your career and not just playing at it to pass your time as a student. If you can speak clearly and confident about the "hot" issues in your industry then you'll get the respect from your colleagues.
One last thing....dont over indulge on the alcohol....i still remember the person who got leggless and make a show of themselves at one of these Industry Events when i was a student (and thats going back a bit now lol) and i now for someone whom i met at that very same Industry Event....we still laugh about the drunken fool :)
Be yourself, smile, stand up straight and put all your nerves in a little box and seal it shut. If you look confident and others see that then you'll start to feel it! Enjoy yourself...it gets easier with time :)
- Very ChuckyLv 51 decade ago
Talk about them, ask what they do and so on.