Successful networking is about building honest connections based on mutual generosity.

Here are a few tips I’ve found that could work for anyone, but are particularly helpful for shy people and people who don’t like selling themselves.

  • Before going to the networking meeting, try standing in the pose of a super hero for as much time as you can. It might feel strange at first but there has been research which shows that your body can affect the way your mind works – it’s related to the idea that you can fake it until you become it. The idea is to become more confident and more relaxed under stressful situations. This idea can be used for lots of situations that would help us to feel strong and calm. Check out ‘Amy Cuddy: your body language shapes who you are’ on Ted talks.
  • breath, smile and relax (it’s supposed to be fun!)
  • remember people’s name (people love hearing their name)
  • get to events early (you can talk to the other early people or help the hosts set up and talk to them)
  • volunteer or offer to help out when you arrive (this is a good way of meeting people)
  • learn what others are interested in (to engage in meaningful conversations you really need to be interested!)
  • set realistic goals (i.e. have meaningful conversations with 3 people and email attendance list afterwards)
  • after the event, reconnect with people you met (to start building a relationship)
  • give value to the people you connect with (think about what you can give them first before considering what you can receive)
  • use business cards after making a connection