Wednesday, January 3, 2007

You Go Girl: Networking Effectively

It is never easy walking into a room full of strangers. Walking up to them and introducing yourself can be even tougher. Yet effective networking is one of the best ways to build your business or gain momentum and support for a fundraiser or cause you believe in. Perhaps one or two of the following ideas will make your next networking event a little easier and maybe even fun!
The Bare Bones Basics:
Eye Contact
Solid Handshake
Slow and Clear Introduction
Have an elevator speech ready. Be able to clearly state who you are and what you offer (not do) in 60 seconds- or before they are walking away for more Swedish meatballs. Practice out loud in the car on the way over. Ignore other drivers staring at you.
Before you enter the room, or even the building, take a breath and still yourself from the rush to get there on time. Music therapist, Victoria Lowrie, once suggested exhaling with sound to find your tone. Particularly as women, our voices tend to get higher when we are nervous. Finding a solid tone to speak will help you remember to breathe, stay relaxed, and sound more confident.
Effective networking is not about being fake. It's you out there- just after a deep breath and a self proclaimed 'I can do this'. For more tips on networking, see the links (blue words) throughout this post and the following:
10 Powerful Tips on Networking
SBA Tips on Networking
SCORE Catch More Clients Through Networking
Business Networking International A powerful networking group I belong to at a local level. Feel free to email with any questions or to come check it out as my guest!