7 Tips for Fright-Free Networking

We all experience it. You walk into a networking event and feel nervous, lost, and don’t know where to start. But networking doesn’t have to be scary! On Tuesday, October 28th, YNPN Boston held a Fright-Free Networking event at Cornwall’s Pub. Here were some of the tips we shared to help you get past the fear of networking!

We all experience it. You walk into a networking event and feel nervous, lost, and don’t know where to start. But networking doesn’t have to be scary! On Tuesday, October 28th, YNPN Boston held a Fright-Free Networking event at Cornwall’s Pub. Here were some of the tips we shared to help you get past the fear of networking!

1. Find the food or the bar -- that’s where the people are! It’s an easy place to start up a conversation that may go something like this: “What craft beer are you drinking? Oh, isn’t that brewery in Somerville?”

2. Put your game face on. While you’re on the train, driving, or walking to the event, get yourself pumped up. Affirmations (quiet or out loud) are great practice: “I’m going to be myself out there!”, “I got this!”

3. Embrace your own awkwardness. C’mon, we all have those horror stories of trying to say hello, start a conversation, or jump into one and nothing comes out. Embrace it! Everyone is in the same boat. Laugh about it and move on.

4. Be yourself. You know your skills, strengths, and what makes you unique. Don’t change who you are just because you’re around new people.

5. Set reasonable expectations. You don’t have to go in with a lofty goal, like “I’m going secure a title event sponsor tonight!” Mix up your goals for each event. It could be talking to three new people or getting advice about a specific subject. Remember, you don’t have to talk to every person in the room to have a successful night. Getting to know just a few people is better than rushing through conversations with 20.  

6. “Ghosting”: Don’t feel like you have to stay in the same conversation all night. You want to make sure you’re achieving your goals and meeting the right people. If you need to get out of a conversation, thank them for their time and wish them a great night. If you’re in a group conversation, “ghost” by casually shifting out of the conversation when appropriate. No need to make a big announcement that you’re moving on.

7. Post-event: After the event, write down the date and place you met someone on their business card. Boston is a small city; you never know where you will see them again! Plus, you can do the same thing on LinkedIn on the Relationship tab, Notes section (don’t worry, they can’t see what you write).

See? Networking doesn’t have to be so scary. In the end, everyone is there to connect with others and have a good time! 


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