Networking With Confidence: How to Break the Ice Without Falling Through

When you’re walking into a networking event, you want to be sure you’re putting your best foot—and face!—forward. If you’re desperately shy or the room is full of strangers, how can you overcome those conversational jitters and make the impression you want? 

Our Twitter #careerchat found great networking tips to help even the most introverted. Debbie Langford (@LangfordDeb), a Right Management career consultant, added her considerable guidance and navigation.

Key takeaways from the chat:

  • The first icebreaker is your smile.
  • Networking is like sales: First build the relationship, then find out their needs, and then sell yourself as the solution.
  • Provide value to others before you ask for help. Switch your thinking from “What do I get?” to “What can I give?”
  • Research event attendees beforehand so you’ll know who’s in the room and what their accomplishments are.
  • Sign up as a door greeter or check registration at the event to meet people more easily.
  • To network your way to a job, identify the decision-making contacts and set up informal interview sessions to present your value.
  • Don’t forget the people you work with. Network through vendor contacts, clients and co-workers to stir up offers in related fields.
  • Discipline yourself to keep networking. It’s easy to get to a “comfortable place” and think you’re done.

Resources:

Special thanks to… @theantiresume, @jendiva1, @KCDEE5, @hfazlani, @rockthehunt, @jackiej04, @ComeRecommended, @SuzanneLahaije, @Careerbright, @michmerc, @SeanMMasters, @CareerAction,  @CondeNastJobs, @SaleStart, @jessieolivia, @Recruit4u, @PushJobs, @norateele and @MaggieMistal.

Job seeker? Just want to get ahead in your career?

Join our Twitter #careerchat Tuesdays @ 12 PM CT to talk about everything from friending your boss on Facebook to personal branding to how to get a call back from recruiter.

How to join: Go to Tweetchat.com and follow the hashtag “careerchat” at noon CT every Tuesday!

Adapted from my post on MyPath.com.
Networking pic from here.