Networking events are important for some individuals for career advancement or business and entrepreneurial success. There are so many things you need to do to prepare for being successful at one of these events. However, working on your own personal presentation is important if you want to stand out as a compelling professional whom others need to speak to. Developing your appealing qualities will enable you to stand out from the crowd of other professionals attending the networking event. This article will address how to excel in such a networking event environment.
See Also: How to Network in College
1. Physical Presentation
The way that you present yourself is vitally important in making a good first impression. Physical presentation is different than physical appearance, which is not an important issue. Acceptance should be based on who we are, not what we look like. However, when you want to succeed as a compelling professional in a networking environment, you need to take care with your appearance. For example, dress the part of a successful networker by wearing professional clothing and paying attention to maintaining good personal hygiene. When you care about your appearance, others will care about you and you will feel better about yourself. When that happens, your unique personality will shine through and others will be more drawn to you like moths to a flame.
2. Positive Attitude
In addition to presenting yourself in a professional manner, you need to cultivate a positive attitude while attending a networking event. If you attend the event and are a wallflower, have a sour-faced appearance or have a negative attitude, you will not draw people to talk to you. Remember, having meaningful conversations with others at networking events is the main purpose of attending them. Even if you are nervous to attend these events, you need to move forward in your fear and try to have fun. Make a decision beforehand to stay positive and find ways to interact with others by being yourself and having genuine conversations.
3. Positive Perspective
In addition to having a positive attitude, you also need to maintain a positive perspective on why you are attending this networking event and what your purpose is. Your mindset should be focused on all the possibilities that this event can hold for your career, business or entrepreneurial venture. Don’t focus on the negative aspects such as low number of attendees or the less than perfect food that was served. Focusing on the negative factors will only undermine your chances of staying positive and attracting the right people to talk to you. You need to step outside your comfort zone and be full of life if you want to be surrounded by other positive professionals who want to network for success.
4. Effective Communication
It is also important to be an effective communicator if you want to be able to attract the right people to talk to and hold an interesting and productive conversation with. This step involves being an active (not passive) listener. Pay attention to what your fellow networkers are discussing. Hear what they are saying, both verbally and nonverbally. All facets of communication count when trying to figure out the actual depth of meaning to the other person’s words. Additionally, you need to show the other person you’re talking to that you care about them as a professional and aren’t simply talking only about yourself. If you want to add value to the networking event, you need to become an excellent and effective conversationalist.
5. Diligent Effort
Finally, you will excel in a networking environment if you make a diligent effort to participate. For example, follow all the four previous steps and maximize your efforts by talking to as many people as possible—while having effective and result-driven conversations. Remember that superior conversation is always better than the amount of exchanges you have. Make your rounds and ensure that every contact you have with other professionals is beneficial to both parties involved. Networking is about developing symbiotic relationships. If you become known as the negativity bearer, fun zapper or selfish talker, you will only defeat your purpose of cultivating genuine professional relationships
What do you do to stand out at networking events as a genuine individual who wants to develop professional symbiotic relationships?