Networking Nerves

The latest trend is Power Networking or Speed Networking which is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Speed Networking is high energy, very thirsty work and an experience you may like, especially if done online where you don't have to put your face on and climb into high heels.

Speed networking is a given time of one or two minutes for you to present what you do to a listener in front of you.

Usually at networking events such as this a bell sounds and you stop talking and the other person then says what they do. You need to have mastered the art of listening – as well as giving a fast paced pitch to succeed at this type of event.

But what if you're nervous?

Don't be nervous about networking, try online networking


Nervous Of Networking?

If you are a little nervous and not used to approaching people then situate yourself by the tea and coffee points at the event and act as the host. Or you can offer to pour drinks as people approach the area, people like to feel looked after and it’s a great way to start a conversation.

Another idea is to position yourself by the registration desk and greet people as they arrive.

Essentially, if you're an organised freelancer or on the ball home business owner and you prepare ahead – who is at the event that you want to meet so you attend the right events and you have enough business cards you shouldn't get the jitters.

Start by getting listed on the right social networks for you and your business. That will at least start the flutters but then when you plan objectives – how many pitches will you make, how many leads will you generate - you'll start getting a bit more confidence.

Next is to prepare an elevator pitch, which is how to describe your business in a quick, memorable way. You should also practice your one minute presentation: don’t sell, introduce. And watch the time it takes. That way when you do position yourself by the coffee table and someone turns to you ... you won't drop dead in a terrified faint.

People prefer to do business with people they know so just pretend you're at your kids dance class or after school footie match. Okay, it feels different and looks different but by treating networking as just ... meeting people, then it show ease off the nerves.


Pitching Your Business At Networking Events

The best idea is to be different, be helpful and listen. Before I forget, you shouldn't forget to follow up after meetings and create your own database with the business cards you collect.

Start with these pitch tips:

  1. Prepare what you are going to say about yourself and your business
  2. Prepare a 10 second and one minute pitch
  3. Ideally a one-liner about you and your business
  4. It should be fluent, compelling and well rehearsed
  5. Try and come up with something quirky about your business
  6. Practise the ease with which you connect with people
  7. Find an easy ice-breaker, such as “have you been here before?” or “did you have to come far?”

If you don't know of any local networking groups or are too plain scared to try it out, why not give online networking a try with iHubbub's online speed networking. Our first session was fantastic with our home business members networking in their slippers.

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