So, you’ve moved abroad – what next, meeting new people or finding a job? Networking can help you with both. Although social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are great communication starters, talking to people face-to-face is important for building more personal connections. Going to networking events can create worry around what to do, what to say, and how to act. This blog on our top tips and tricks for networking has got you covered!
Whether your plan is to sell your business idea or to make friends, just be yourself. Don’t put pressure on yourself to meet a set number of people or get a certain number of business leads. The one connection that you make by being yourself could naturally lead to further connections on a personal and business level.
The First Five Minutes
The first five minutes of a conversation are the most important, as you will find out whether the conversation is going anywhere or not. Ask questions to find a mutual interest and use anything you have in common to build on the conversation. Give the person you are speaking to some points to pick up on when they ask you questions. Suppose you have asked as many questions as you can think of and have tried different subjects to talk about, but neither of you have found a mutual interest to talk about. The best thing to do here would be to acknowledge that it was lovely to meet them and end the conversation in a friendly way.
The great thing about face-to-face communication is the non-verbal cues that you can’t get from talking to someone on the phone. It often happens that you send a text or email that doesn’t come across right. Non-verbal cues like tone, facial expression, and body language can help to communicate things in the right way. If these non-verbal cues are used correctly, you can come across as very welcoming and friendly. These cues include smiling, standing upright and leaning in slightly to show your interest, talking with your hands, and making eye contact. What you should avoid is standing with your arms folded, as well as fidgeting. Don’t overdo it either; you don’t want to look over-animated. Your non-verbal cues should work hand in hand with what you say, allowing you to come across as natural and honest as possible.
Don’t Promote Yourself Too Much
No one likes to listen to someone who only talks about themselves throughout a conversation. If you are trying to sell a business idea, a short description is better than a long spiel that may bore your readers. It is also recommended to form a personal connection first and allow the conversation to naturally progress onto business-related topics.
It is important to follow up with the people you have met at any networking events, and social media can be useful for doing this. On LinkedIn you can connect with the people you met and engage with their posts. You could also check out their business pages on Facebook and Twitter. Arranging to go to future business events with those who you meet at networking events is also a good idea.
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