Picture a networking event, there is usually a sea of dark clothing…it is a challenge to stand out positively at networking!
When we go to an event, there is a lot to think about such as goals and how to integrate into the room but the most important thing is that you are positively memorable to those you meet; you need to be able to stand out positively at networking. It is no good having a great conversation at an event, if when you try to reconnect and carry it on, the person has forgotten who you are. I heard about this happening to a man I know recently, a very positive conversation on the night, yet brushed off later in the week, as the person he followed up with clearly didn’t remember the person behind the email and thought it was a random approach.
So my 5 top networking tips to stand out positively at networking events:
- Only go to events that work for you – timing, format etc. If you’re not even a bit happy to be there, then that will come across.
- Clothing – whilst we don’t want to be remembered only for what we wear, it can be used to our advantage if we think about how we could be positively memorable. People are very visual, so it can be very helpful to remember the ‘woman in the red jacket’ linking it to the conversation. There is a lady I know and come across fairly frequently, I struggle to remember her name but remember her by her bold handbags and that links in my head to her job role and company. If you are easy to find in a room, it also makes it easier for others to point someone they have met in your direction, if relevant. If they can’t easily spot you, it won’t happen!
- Be human. Build rapport with people first before getting into work conversation. We all have journeys, a view on the venue etc.
- Show interest in others – how many people do you encounter at networking that just want to talk about themselves? There are a fair few, it is rare for people to show genuine interest, so ask them a few questions before the monologue starts, they are more likely to then ask you some back.
- Offer to help, if you can and as long as you feel happy to. For example, if they say they’re considering a job move and you know someone in the area they want to move to, offer the contact. Just make sure you keep your promise afterwards.
Networking is rarely a loved activity and often under-utilised by those in corporate roles. There are many advantages to be had though. Remember you can’t build a network when you need one, it takes time. To read my complete guide to networking at events click here.
“Joanna came to our office to run a seminar entitled The Skills and Confidence to Get More Out of Networking. The seminar was excellent and very well received. Several members of the team mentioned what a great public speaker Joanna was and everyone from junior to senior team members learnt something new. Joanna managed to effectively mix up the session so that there were periods of her speaking, chats and role play which meant no one got bored. It was a most enjoyable and useful session and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who needs help networking (which is, let’s face it, all of us)!”
Networking is one of the Nine Neglected Skills needed for career success, if you would like advice and tips on all nine, including a free downloadable Booklet, complete the form below:
Image thanks to freeimages.com/MarkSons