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Chapter 21. Network Like a Pro > Overcoming Networking Anxiety

Overcoming Networking Anxiety

According to experts, about 90% of all adults feel anxious when they have to attend an event where they don’t know anyone. The key to effective networking is planning what to say and how to say it. Try the following tips the next time you network:

Research the event before you go. Who will be attending? Who is hosting it? What is the agenda? When does it start and end? What time should you arrive? Where is it? What kind of parking is available? What is the cost?

What do you want to get from attending? Your goal for attending may vary from event to event.

Practice introducing yourself and your handshake. See “Tip 15: Meet and Greet People” earlier in this book.

Prepare some small talk by reading about local and national issues. Positive comments about the event or the food are good conversation starters.

Listen to what others say. See “Tip 27: Listen and Learn” later in this book.

Adopt a “host” mind-set and act accordingly. If you see someone who looks lonely or lost, go up and introduce yourself. By making them feel more comfortable, you will make yourself more comfortable.

Keep your business card in a pocket and ready to hand out when asked for it. Collect business cards from others and after the event, write relevant information on the back so you remember them. Note any follow-up that is required.



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