Hey there, fellow Tweeter! 🙂
So, you’re interested in why I’m never nervous at networking events, huh?
Well, I have to be quite honest up front – I used to be SOOOO nervous to go to a networking event! (I went anyway, but I was nervous as hell before I went.)
I used to walk in fretting about what I would say when people talked to me, whether I would be standing there all by myself with no one to talk to, worrying about how in the hell I would ever start a conversation with anyone…..and the list goes on and on.
See, I used to be a huge people pleaser. I felt like I needed to have something breathtaking to say to impress everyone. And the fact was, I just didn’t feel like I had anything particularly breathtaking to say!
Talk about feeling awkward! Even if someone did engage me in conversation, I was really nervous about what I would say and how I would keep a conversation going.
But I know now that I was missing the whole point of the event. I was thinking of it as a place where I had to wow and sell. And that’s NOT what a networking event is about.
Because networking is about building relationships. People don’t hire you because they met you at a networking event and remembered what you did. (Hint: How many people do you actually remember meeting at the last networking event you went to? And out of those people, do you remember what they all do? No? I never did, either.)
People hire you because they know you. They have some kind of connection with you. And THAT’S your goal at a networking event.
SOOOOOOO………here’s where we get to the nitty-gritty of why I don’t get nervous anymore. You ready?
I’ve stopped worrying about what I’m going to say because my main focus now is meeting and learning about other people.
I took the focus off of myself. And put it on everyone else. How do I do that? I ask a question that encourages people to share with me. But not only that…… I follow it up with a question that encourages people to share something POSITIVE with me.
Here are the questions:
Have you been having a good week? What’s been the best part of it so far?
Do you see what’s happening here??
First of all, I ask an easy question that’s got nothing to do with the weather. (If one more person says something obvious to me about the weather…..) It’s not prying, it’s not unheard of to ask, it’s not threatening. It’s just a simple question.
Most people, no matter how their week has been going so far, will tell you that their week has been going pretty well. And this is precisely why you need that follow-up question.
Because if you don’t have the follow-up question? The conversation is O-V-E-R.
But the best part about the follow-up question is that it forces them to get a bit more personal and share something HAPPY that’s happened to them! This is brilliant!
You get them talking about themselves, and they instantly feel like they like you more. It’s a well-known psychological trick for getting someone to like you. Show interest in them. You’ll be perceived as a nice, friendly, personable person.
And the best part? ALL of the focus is off of you until they ask you a question about yourself! And we’re all so good at talking about ourselves when asked a question, that nerves are never a problem again. 🙂
I wish I could say that I came up with this little gem all by myself. But the truth is that I learned it from someone I met …….. NETWORKING. You betcha! And do you know what? I now consider her a friend.
I hope this little tip helps you! I’m so glad we’ve connected on Twitter! Can’t wait to see where our budding relationship takes us!