This past week, I was invited to present a networking segment at the InForum meeting (click here for the InForum website
). The energy was palpable as 200+ women (and a few men!) gathered for the “Good Morning Inforum!” event. I have to say, I was quite impressed by the turnout. Everyone was there to network – to talk about networking, to learn more about networking, to practice networking, TO NETWORK!
And….guess what, I was leading an exercise on the basics networking…shocking isn’t it? One of the challenges in going to an event (without a friend!) is approaching and meeting new people. Here is a quick acronym I created and shared with the group to lessen the anxiety of the maybe-I’ll-go-late-and-skip-the-networking-portion-of-the-meeting part of networking.
Well, It all begins with a HANDSHAKE….
H - Handshake: give a handshake that says “I am a strong, capable, and engaging person”
A – Approach: how you walk up to someone – your eye contact, posture, SMILE!
N – Name: introduce yourself by name is one of the networking basics.
D – Define: define why you’ve approached, “I have been hoping to meet you because….”
S - Say their name: repeating their name gives you an opportunity to remember it later!
H - Ha-ha: be sure to insert your personality, have fun with it, and be engaging!!
A - Ask questions: don’t fill in the space with your “stuff”, ask questions about the them.
K - Konclude: Conclude with something like “it was great to meet you, let’s…”
E - Exit politely: Politely extract yourself – get a drink or introduce them to a new person!
It was a great event – fun to connect with everyone and a positive way to start the day. At your next event, be sure to put your best foot forward by extending your hand for a networking HANDSHAKE!
Do you have any Networking tricks? Please share if you do.