Four Ways to Improve Your Networking Skills

June 02, 2016

You’re in a room full of people where you have a chance to make a good first impression, say a professional hello with a firm handshake, smile and come up with a funny comment that starts up a conversation. Except, you’re not the best at small talk, you’re a bit nervous and you are blanking out on the pitch you had prepared. Don’t worry. These anxious thoughts are all normal and quite common. Your Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties offers these four networking tips, and before you know it, you will be expanding your network with ease.

  1. It’s not always about business talk. Job seekers should remember to focus on keeping a casual mentality. Networking should be approached with a genuine curiosity instead of being scared of success. You should remind yourself that you are building a social network that comes from sincere interest. Remember, the people you meet in a networking event are just that – people.
  2. Focus on and define your pitch. Coming up with a pitch may be a little tricky because it can sound like a sales tactic. You should avoid using slogans or clichés so that the person you are talking to know you are genuinely presenting resolutions and not trying to get a job. Your pitch should have a purpose and express clear intentions. Some examples on how to prep for a pitch can be a self-reflection, integrating a call to action or tell your personal story.
  3. Remember to relax and stand tall. You can project your emotional state without even realizing it through nonverbal cues. For example, having your arms crossed can communicate resistance, whereas open arms make you appear amicable. Don’t forget to be mindful of your posture and how your body language is presented to others.
  4. Don’t forget to schedule a follow up. Make sure that once you exchange business cards and say goodbye, you should email or call your new contact. Express appreciation for their time. A good way to reconnect is through LinkedIn.

*information provided by Mashable 


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