First, it is important to establish what networking is. Why do we do it? What sorts of networking are there? What are the benefits? We will then go on to look at some practical ways of preparing yourself to network: Planning Making an impression Following up
So let’s be clear from the outset. It is not about finding a quick fix to your career change and job search problems. Networking is about building relationships, not just filling an address book with as many names and numbers as possible. It is a two-way process where you make contacts that may be beneficial to you, but where you also offer information and assistance in return. Do not expect to get the magic answer to your career change questions at a single meeting. Networking should become a lifelong habit that you use throughout your career - and it can be relevant and useful outside of work too! Business opportunities: Research career ideas Identify new possible career paths Understand more about particular occupational areas Learn from the experience of others How have they got to where they are? Do they have any tips? Anything you should or should be doing based on their experience Build up a team of people You may need a team with different skill sets Contact list It is always helpful to have a wide network of people, even if you don’t need to reply on them immediately Identify particular people who can act as mentor for you Find out about jobs and other opportunities that may not be advertised Create a pool of relevant contacts who know, trust and respect you Explore or market self employed business opportunities you are developing Develop your soft skills eg communication, listening
Ask the group to write down all the pitfalls of this clip. These should include: Not knowing her name (and forgetting it at the end) Asking questions and not listening Talking about himself and not showing any interest in her Over-selling himself Lack of eye contact Puts her card away – no interest, doesn’t look at it Walks off to speak with someone else, doesn’t close the conversation
The business man in the clip may well have been very good at his job and someone well worth keeping in contact with but we only had a few minutes to make this judgement. It is unlikely based on this that he is someone you would keep in mind - so it is vital that you are able to make an impression in a short space of time – first impressions go a long way! It is important to think of networking in 3 ways Planning Objectives – will go into more details of how to do this on the next slide Logistics: Times, dresscode, who will be there Be culturally aware – e.g. in some cultures a firm handshake is considered confident and a first impression can be based on that. However, in other cultures, this is considered rude and in fact a very weak handshake is all that is required. Keep things like this in mind. Making an impression The way in which you put yourself across as well as what you are saying is vital. We will look at what some of these are as well. Following up Making a great impression is obviously very important but there is little point in creating a new link or network unless you are willing to then follow it up Emails – keep them clear and concise – no one wants to hear your life story Phone calls - if you are calling up make sure you introduce yourself properly, if you have done stage 2 well then they will hopefully remember you! However, don’t make an assumption they will know immediately Information – if you send anything over, make sure it is accurate – this is a refection of you and your work ethics It may be that you are giving contacts – make sure that they are aware you are giving out their names Timing – do this ASAP after the event – you will be fresh in their minds, it will demonstrate you are keen and also you will be the first email they read ahead of countless others who may also follow up!
All projects need managing. Business networking is a project, and so it needs managing. You can use various tools to manage your networking. You must manage your networking, or it will manage you. This is an example of a way to plan ahead what you want from the meeting – which will also help you to be able to evaluate it’s effectiveness afterwards and decide whether that particular type of even is of value. – (and it is very detailed so it is up to you what you put in there or how you find to comfortable to plan - Some people plan with shapes and connections on a big sheet of paper. Others prefer a spreadsheet. Use whatever you find comfortable.) Be able to plan and monitor your networking activities. It is important to know exactly what you want, because you will be asked - very directly by powerful potential contacts - and you will need to give a clear answer. An activity which has no clear planned outcomes is liable to be pulled in all sorts of unwanted directions. As with any project, you will only move towards your aim when you keep focused on that aim. If you don't know what to plan, then probably some research is necessary: In terms of evaluating and choosing a potential networking group - especially a big online community - investigate the tactics that successful members are using. Ask a leading member for pointers. This will help you assess the group's relevance to your needs and strengths. You will save yourself from attending time-wasting events, and registering with time-wasting websites, if you do some research before committing valuable time to deeper involvement. A plan is vital because business networking can be a very time-consuming activity. Have some targets and measurables, and monitor results. A structured approach can be especially important for very sociable networkers. Business networking can be a very enjoyable activity, and for some people can seem a lot more productive than it actually is, so stay mindful of business results and cost-effectiveness. Just use the headings as a guide if you prefer to work more intuitively, or if you favour a certain type of planning method.
So you have planned your objectives, arrived at the event and are now ready to get going!! How are you going to start your networking? This is commonly called an 'elevator speech' or 'elevator pitch' - as if you were to meet a potentially important contact for the first time in an elevator at a conference and he/she asks you: &quot;What do you do?&quot; You have no more than 20 seconds - perhaps just 10-15 seconds - between floors to explain, and to make such an impressive impact that the person asks for your contact details. You can also use these principles also in text-based descriptions for the web, and printed materials, etc. If you talk too much, the listener will become bored, or think you are rude or too self-centred. Be concise . You will demonstrate consideration and expertise by conveying your most relevant points in as short a time as possible. Here are the main points for creating your elevator speech (go over the points on the slides using yourself as an example – e.g. I work for Teach First and cover the North East region etc. Ending with a question enables more to happen than letting the discussion tail off nowhere or into polite small-talk. &quot;What's your interest here/at this event?&quot; &quot;What are you most wanting to get out of this event/your visit here?&quot;, or obviously if you've not already asked: &quot;What do you do?“ If you already know the other person's interests and motives, for example ask: &quot;How would you like to improve/change/grow... (various options, for example - your own network, your own business activities, this sort of event, etc)?&quot; TASK – 10 mins Ask all of them to take a few minutes to create a 20 second elevator pitch and work in pairs introducing themselves to each other (role play) Ask for a couple of volunteers to say theirs out loud and ask the others to comment on whether they would want to know more, what they liked etc.
93 % of communication is non-verbal therefore, how you behave is vitally important. You want to come across as a positive person and your body language can make a huge difference to this. First impressions count! People wont have long to get to know you so it is vital you put yourself across in the best way! If one of these people was about to approach you, who would you be more inclined to speak with? (ask the group to shot out answers) Why? Smile – this will make people want to talk to you more – people want to be around happy people! Eye contact – look at the person in the eye, looking at the floor or to the side will immediately loose the interaction Posture – don’t slouch, keep arms uncrossed Gestures – hand gestures and movements can be an effective way of putting a point across General appearance Clothing – sadly in first impressions this will matter – find out the dress code and adhere to it and be smart! You will look less keen if you have not made an effort to dress well and how you look can unfortunately lead to assumptions on how you are, how you work etc (eg scruffy – they may think you are disorganised or even lazy) Keep your voice to a tone that is confident, don’t mumble but equally the whole room doesn’t want to hear what you are saying, so don’t talk too loudly either!
Play the clip – what are some of the positive things she is doing? Here we have an example of someone networking after an event. Remember networking does not have to be in the form of an organised party of people, you can network any time – see some of the attributes we mentioned? She is positive about the event She knew who he was – ‘so I see you work for…’ and allows him to elaborate Introduces herself, her company and also what HER ROLE is Talks about what her aims are Follows up – suggests a meeting Open body language, good tone, friendly Smart appearance
You are representing not only yourself – your behaviour can be equally as productive and damaging to the reputation of a University/employers etc (people are unlikely to remember who you are and will say ‘that awful person from xxx University, I thought they were supposed to be a good University???) Social networking – remain professional – what you do and say on line goes a long way! If you are using social networking sites, make sure you have the right security settings and watch your profile picture! People may not criticise what you get up to at the weekends, but having the evidence of it all over the internet will make people question your judgement and discretion. If you are using other networking sites such as linked in – make sure your profile is updated, it shows a lack of interested and pro-activeness if your data is irrelevant or out of date Take some business cards with you but don’t just give these out randomly, make yourself memorable first If you agree to set something up, send something over or any other follow ups – make sure you do it and promptly whilst you are still fresh in their minds. If necessary set aside some time after the event for follow up. Use the preparation exercise – you need to be confident about what you want/what you do etc if you are to create a good impression. Make sure you find out what type of event this is, wear the right clothing (better to overdress then under-dress), arrive (and leave) on time. It is always worth being familiar with cultural differences. You could offend someone if you are not conscious of these and on the plus side, if you have the awareness this will work in your favour as someone with cultural sensitivity and who has taken the time to consider this. Watch the alcohol intake! If you don’t think you can stop at one or two then don’t drink at all! Everyone wants to be remembered positively and you need to ensure that these are the vibes you give off. Be passionate, positive, optimistic and you will give off much better vibes. You can talk about things aside from work – people will be impressed if they think you are career driven but also have other interests that make you unique (careful not to embellish in case you meet someone who knows more about it than you do!)
Today’s session <ul><li>Defining Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing yourself for a Networking event </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior in Business Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Tops tips </li></ul>
What is networking? Business opportunities Learning from experience of others Building up a team of people Develop your skill set and self confidence Make an impression which could later be helpful Contact list of people – mutual interest ‘ a process where you develop long term relationships with others for mutual benefit’
Stages of Networking Planning and Preparing The event Following up Logistics Cultural Sensitivity Objectives Be positive Emails Phone calls Information Names Be concise Ask Questions – not just about you! Smile Energetic
Plan your networking Know what you want - manage it group 1 group 2 group 3 what is my aim? ideal connections (people) - describing words group name and type group profile/sector/interests (relevance to me) tactical group notes/tips - what works well? my elevator speech (for this group) what I can do for these people what do I want from these people? diary dates/scheduled tasks targets/expectations actuals time spent compare with my other marketing activities
Describe yourself - Elevator Speech TASK : Create YOUR elevator speech 5 MINS 1. What? "My name is..." Look the other person in the eye. Smile. Shoulders back. Speak with confidence. Sincerity and passion are crucial in making a strong early impression. What do you do? What are you interested in? Where are you based? 2. So what? Be different and special and better in some way from your competitors. Be meaningful for the event or situation or group Express what you offer in terms of positive outcomes for employers. Be positive, proud and ambitious in your thinking and expression of what you do. Include in this statement what your aims are , to show you have ambition and that you know what you are seeking from network contacts. 3. Now what? What are your aims for the future? What will your next steps be? What kind of experiences would you like to gather? 4. End with a question This will avoid the conversation running dry and show consideration for the other person
Body language and first impressions <ul><li>Smile </li></ul><ul><li>Eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Posture </li></ul><ul><li>Gestures </li></ul><ul><li>General appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Tone of voice </li></ul>
Hints and Tips <ul><li>Remember – you are representing yourself and others (University, Employer etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking Sites – update and keep professional! </li></ul><ul><li>Business cards – always have these at a business networking event – don’t just give out to everyone, build a relationship first </li></ul><ul><li>ALWAYS follow up anything you say that you will </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your aims? Who do you want to meet? What do you want to say about yourself? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate clothing, arrive on time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be culturally sensitive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you are a drinker – watch your consumption! </li></ul><ul><li>People are drawn to positive people! Leave negative comments and thoughts at home and never speak negatively about anyone else </li></ul><ul><li>Turn your phone off! Do not look at emails, texts or take or make calls </li></ul>
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