So perhaps you find the most difficult thing is going up to people and introducing yourself – just remember that everyone is in the same boat as you – they are here to network and therefore expect and hope you will do just that. Just follow these tips for working the room and your confidence will soar.
- Make the first move – introduce yourself to others rather than waiting for others to come to you – this allows you to choose who you talk to and you’ll be thanked by the other person.
- To ease yourself in try heading for that one contact you know however don’t stick with them – after all you already know them
- Look for lone people to speak to – think how pleased they will be to talk to you, after all they want effective business networking, not just standing around watching others.
- Look for contacts the same height and age as you to make connections with – this can help you feel more relaxed at the outset, and choose the sex you feel more comfortable networking with.
- Decide whether to approach groups of people depending on how they are standing. E.g. if there are a couple of people more or less standing side by side then this means they are open to being approached. If a couple or a group appears ‘closed’ with all parties facing each other then it may be more difficult, so save them until later.
- As you join a couple or group, listen to what they are saying, wait for a lull in the conversation, ask whether you may join them and introduce yourself.