If you’re looking for your next client or collaborator, or want to land that dream job, attending networking events should feature high on your to-do list. Let’s be honest though, networking can sometimes pose a bit (or for some of us, a lot) of a challenge – you stumble through painfully awkward conversations, or end up feeling drained by dull repetitive small talk. If you’ve felt that way, you’re not alone. The good news is that you don’t need to be an extrovert or adopt a different personality to shine at networking events. Here are three ideas you can implement right away.
Reframe Your Mindset
Attention, introverts. If the thought of selling yourself to strangers over and over again throws you off, here’s something to consider: maybe you should stop thinking about networking as a platform to talk about yourself. Instead, approach a networking conversation by asking yourself “how can my skills and experiences add value to this person?”
Ask insightful questions, and look out for ways to help – maybe you could introduce them to someone of value, or provide advice. When you focus on adding value, you take a lot of the pressure away from yourself. Instead, you’re tuned in to listening to what the other person says and are responding from a place of expertise. You’ll feel more confident and comfortable to open up.
Practice Does Make Perfect (or at least brings you close)
Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to access events and communities that you could be a part of. Go ahead and attend that meetup you’ve had on your mind, even if it’s only remotely related to your area of work. This gives you the chance to practice networking without any of the pressure. You might even open up doors for new opportunities, no matter what industry you’re in. Alemay Fernandez, Global Jazz Singer, landed her first singing residency after she struck up a conversation with the manager at a jazz club her friend invited her to.
Never Knowingly Under-prepared
For Gil Petersil, CEO of MeetPartners who has coached over 200 companies worldwide, coming prepared is his way of ensuring he enjoys networking events. He explains that it’s crucial to prepare yourself in any way that reassures you and makes you feel more confident. What puts you in a good frame of mind? Maybe a good night’s sleep, or dressing appropriately for the occasion. Maybe it is taking a few minutes to meditate, or clearing any negative thoughts from your mind. People can feel the vibes that you give off. So, when you’re feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically balanced, you’re going to put your best foot forward and leave a good impression.
Networking Events in Singapore
If you’d really just like to focus on industry-specific networking, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Singapore. Meetup and Eventbrite are a good starting point to browse what’s on offer locally in your city. You can also join Tigerhall at our regular private dinners, which cover a range of different business and lifestyle topics led by Asia’s most successful people. You’ll get the opportunity to dine with an expert and nine other like-minded people in a relaxed setting. A great opportunity to network and ask all your pressing questions.
Discover more networking tips from Gil Petersil, CEO of MeetPartners where he shows you how to ask better questions and represent yourself authentically and professionally while networking. With his expert tips, you’ll be on your way to letting your interesting, likable personality shine through without letting your nerves – or the canapés – get in your way.