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Engineering your Networking Experiences


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Presentation given at STC New England Chapter's Interchange Conference October 16, 2018

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Engineering your Networking Experiences

  1. 1. NETWORKING MYTHS Other people like networking1 and I’m weird for not liking it. 1
  2. 2. NETWORKING MYTHS Most people hate it. Introverts make up half the population and dread networking events.
  3. 3. NETWORKING MYTHS Other people are magically good at networking1 and there is something wrong with me because I am not good at it. 1
  4. 4. NETWORKING MYTHS Most people have to work at it to look like they are good at it. This is something you can learn to do and improve.
  5. 5. Choose the Right Networking Events
  6. 6. Research
  7. 7. 1 Going with a goal is a good motivator.
  8. 8. Prepare
  9. 9. 1 Rehearse some things you can say to others and questions you can ask others.
  10. 10. 1 Rehearse answers for the What do you do? and Where do you work? questions
  11. 11. 1 Put on a flattering outfit that makes you feel good about yourself and comfortable shoes.
  12. 12. Give yourself plenty of time to get there and assess the environment.
  13. 13. Start conversations with others
  14. 14. Ask others questions and be interested in the responses (ie, ask follow-up questions).
  15. 15. As you meet people, remember their names
  16. 16. Exchange business cards with people that you’d like to stay in contact with
  17. 17. From Susan Cain, Author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and cofounder of Quiet Revolution. “I recently came across some of the best networking advice I’ve ever heard: to imagine yourself in the role of the host, rather than the nervous party guest. It’s the host’s job to make everyone feel comfortable. When you’re focused on another person’s comfort, you tend to forget about your own lack of comfort. You become more present.” From:
  18. 18. Also from Susan Cain What can introverts bring to, or get out of, networking events that extroverts may not? “Many introverts love to connect deeply. They may not meet as many people at a given event, but they’ll often come away with a smaller number of authentic and valuable connections.”
  19. 19. FOLLOW UP If you don’t do this, you’ve wasted your time at the networking event!
  20. 20. KEEP IN TOUCH This is where you really reap the benefits of networking events.
  21. 21. SUMMARY • Forget about your discomfort – focus on others. • Make real connections; have deeper conversations with people once you find commonalities. • Don’t meet everyone or try to.1 • Do the necessary research and preparation BEFORE the event. • DURING the event, try to focus on others and “act the host.” • AFTER the event, follow up and stay in contact with new “friends.”
  22. 22. Anyone can learn to network. It isn’t rocket science. If you’re terrible at networking, maybe you’re making a few of these mistakes. Maybe you… • Ask for favors before you give them. • Always talk about yourself. • Make the situation awkward. • Need to improve your handshake. • Have nothing to talk about. • Don’t remember people’s names. • Have a foul mouth. • Speak poorly about other people. • Don’t know how to start a conversation. • Don’t talk to new people. • Never follow up. • Don’t let the other person talk. • Are not very interesting.
  23. 23. OTHER RESOURCES networking-success networking do-before-a-networking-event