“Of course I know I need to be networking, but every time I see so many people in the room I get really nervous” many people shared with me this thought every time I get to keynote in event or train about networking and building relationships. What they did not know is that I used to be exactly the same and still many times I feel the same nervous feelings. But I learned few ways to control and overcome the nervousness. So this blog is dedicated to all of you, who are nervous to network. Read, learn and implement and see how your nervousness disappears.
Here are my 8 simple tips for dealing with networking nervousness:
1. Think and Plan
Think in advance and plan to participate in events where you might meet people that could benefits from your services or you could form an alliance with them or you could share knowledge with them or could connect you with other relevant people. Your preparation in advance will make your participation in purpose and give you more clarity in the interaction and networking with other participants.
2. Have clear Intentions
Many people getting nervous in networking events, since they are not clear with themselves on their intentions. So already when they introduce themselves to other participant they become nervous. To avoid it start by introducing yourself clearly and explain what you do and you are looking for. Thus, you will be able to select the right parties who are interested to learn more from you and build relationship with you (like-minded people).
3. Do not expect any particular outcome
Stress and being nervous while networking is being many times associated with expectations to have certain results or outcomes. So to avoid it, work on yourself and be natural about the outcome of your networking event. If you do so, you will attract the right people to yourself and you will be able to share clearer message and build authentic relationship
4. Shift your Authentic Attention
Shift your attention and give it to other people. By giving your attention to others you will learn more about their needs, desires and struggles and how you can help them. While you occupy your mind about other people needs, you will not have time and place to be nervous and you will be much more productive in connecting with others.
5. Being ahead of time
Sometimes you get nervous by the amount of new faces and attendees in a large event. So, try and be at the event before the rest of the crowd arriving. This time, you will be one of the first and you can develop your confidence, while the event is being filling up by others arriving later than you.
6. Enjoy every Moment
Nobody said that networking should be a sad experience. You should definitely go there and enjoy every moments. Dress up and groom yourself that will definitely boost your confidence. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the small talk with attendees (see my previous blog on the significance of small talk). This tip is definitely valuable to those of you that get nervous in specific professional events, but taking it easy when the event is a party or a wedding etc. Shifting your mind regarding the event will definitely shift your state from being nervous to being relaxed.
7. Evaluate and Join the right group of people
When you already at the event you can evaluate the groups of people and by using many body language clues, you should join the right group. This will be an open group that will put you directly in ease and really inviting you (silently) to join them.
8. Use the Power of We
It is always easier to arrive to an event with somebody you already know and you are feeling comfortable with. I suggest to you to choose somebody who do not get nervous at networking events, so you avoid making each other more nervous. Plan to network together with this people at the event or until you will feel more comfortable. Try to avoid being a burden on these people. Share with them in advance that you trying to avoid being nervous by networking with them. They will understand and definitely help and support you also in navigating the room and choosing the right parties to connect with.
Using these 8 simple tips will definitely help you to network without being nervous. Thus you will start enjoying it and having the opportunity to be more productive and connect with relevant people and give them your authentic attention.
What are your ways that you cope with your networking nervousness? Or please share with me a great or horrible story you have from being nervous at networking event.
Let me help you to overcome your nervous in networking event. Can I join you to the next event and show you how? Contact me to find out!