Networking is a critical skill to have that many people struggle with. Improving your networking skills can make all the difference and help you get your foot in the door. Here a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be Prepared
Before attending a networking event or meeting always do your research. Make sure that you know who is hosting the event and who will be there, this will help you know what to expect. Also make sure you prepare a short speech to introduce yourself. This short speech should briefly tell people about yourself, your goals and help them remember you.
- Make Eye Contact
Looking someone in the eye is key. It lets them know that you’re are paying attention. Nothing gives a worse impression then looking around for the next person to talk to, or looking down at your phone.
- Listening is Key
Remember that networking is all about conversation and making connections, so you do not want to be talking the entire time. It is important to seem interested in the person you are talking to. Ask them questions and listen to their answers, you may be able to find out what is important to them and connect with them that way.
- Politely Exit Conversations
Part of preparation is scripting out some exit lines, this will help you smoothly exit a conversation. When exiting, make sure it flows with the conversation, do not interrupt the person to exit, wait for a loll in discussion. Make sure that you exchange business cards and share a firm handshake before moving on.
- Follow Up
Networking does not end when the event does, it is an ongoing process that always happens. It is really important to follow up with the people that you met, whether that is through and email or a phone call. You do not have to contact everyone you met, just the people you really connected with. Doing this within 24 hours of the event will set you apart and show that you can take initiative.
Networking can be intimidating but it is important to remember that networking is something that everyone does. Don’t be afraid to get out there and make connections because you never know where they will take you.
Article Used: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/12844.aspx
By: Hailey Fuzak
Hailey Muzak is a junior mass communication major with minors in business administration and journalism. She is a first year member of PRSS-UD, the VP of Communication for the Student Alumni Ambassadors, a cofounder of the Cockpit Crazies and a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma