I admit, I have shy moments. (That’s one reason I love writing so much – I can plan out what I’m going to say and revise it fifteen times before anyone even sees it.) In person or on the phone, I’m always worried about saying something goofy. Then I start having fun and forget to worry about that.
I’m married to an introvert, and it occured to me that speed networking would be excellent for him. Yes, it’s talking to strangers, but
- You pretty much know what to say – your name, your company, and what you do there.
The rest is listening.
- It truly isn’t about making a sale at the time of networking. So it’s low pressure. If there’s potential for further discussion, then you exchange cards and plan to talk again sometime.
- It’s great practice. Introducing yourself 30 times? You can do that. It gets easier every time.
- If you say something weird (as I personally am likely to do) and feel self-conscious about it, guess what – you get to talk to a brand new person in a few minutes, and another chance to NOT do that. Or be weird in a totally different way.
- Saying something a little silly or weird shows that you have personality. And you will, in all likelihood, meet one or two people that connect with your particular quirks.
- 90% of the people you’re meeting also feel a little self-conscious, so they may not be paying total attention what you just said anyway.
- If you screw up, you just made that person feel a little better about themselves. It’s a good deed.
- There’s usually decent snacks at these things.
- You are much more likely to meet a new client/vendor/referral/friend if you go to one of these events than if you don’t go.
I convinced him to go to the event, and he was willing to go again sometime. Have you got any tips for networking? Maybe something you learned from experience, or a presenter like Maia Beatty? Share them! Tweet them @madisonperrycc .