Are you a nervous networker? This might help
8 November 2019 at 5:09 pm
Up your networking game with these top tips
If you dread going to events that require you to network, you are not alone. But is there a way you can get better at it? We found out.
Matthew Boyd is the co-founder and CEO of Vollie and runs a whole lot of networking events on the side, so we asked him for some tips on how to nail (and have fun) networking.
Be yourself and don’t let fear stop you
You will be nervous, and the act of networking might feel alien, but pushing yourself can sometimes lead to great things.
“You can’t be afraid to go to events on your own because you’re always looking for a buddy or a colleague to go to an event, because if they can’t go, you might miss out on meeting someone great,” Boyd says.
“It’s also important that you don’t act like a particular person or put a particular persona on.”
Know who you want to speak to and why
Doing a little bit of research before the event and finding out who you want to speak to can save you time and make you feel like you’re walking away with an achievement for the night.
“You want to think about how if you come away from the session having connected with the CEO of company X, then that’s a great result,” he explains.
You might have the best product or program in the world that you’ve been dying to pitch to someone, but great work takes time. So slow down, and if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.
“If somebody genuinely enjoys a conversation with you, and there is that like-minded sort of middle ground, crossover of interests, then they will grab a coffee with you. They might even say, ‘yeah, come in and present your offering’, but be patient,” he says.
Play it cool
If you’re keen to get in touch with someone after an event, make sure you tell them you’re going to drop them a line, and then actually do it.
Boyd says doing so within two to three business days is ideal. You don’t want to leave it so long they forget you, but you also don’t want to seem too keen.
“I think networking is a little bit like dating. Sometimes, you want to play it cool because if you’re too keen it puts people off,” he says.