By Chi Chi Okezie
One of the best ways to be a great networker is to have confidence. Confidence takes on many forms including professionalism, a strong brand, consistency and a genuine desire to build relationships. But in order to be more confident, it is important to get rid of the anxiety that is sometime accompanied with networking.
Listed below are three helpful tips for reducing anxiety and being more confident at your next event.
Do not leave your networking to chance. Take the necessary time to prepare for your events. Preparation can involve practicing your elevator pitch, drafting a few conversation questions or staying updated on current or industry events. Anticipate the individuals you hope to meet and plan accordingly.
Be Network Minded
If you feel too intimidated to attend events alone, reach out to people in your networks. Invite your friends, co-workers or colleagues as your guest. Ask to attend events that they are attending. Reach out to the organizer or host of the association through social media and make pre-networking connections. Use this as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and be more social and engaging. Taking the first step and initiating a connection is definitely a sign of confidence.
Before the event, write down a few goals that you hope to achieve by going to the event. How many people do you plan to meet and build relationships? How can you give back or pay it forward? How do you want to promote your brand, product, service or initiative? How can you learn from others and share resources or information?
Use these tips and practical methods to reduce anxiety and focus on productive networking. Being able to be prepared, build your networks and focus on your goal leads to professional and career success.