ARE YOU A WALLFLOWER?
October 29, 2015
liufadmin (615 articles)
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ARE YOU A WALLFLOWER?

We all look forward to the weekend, which kicks off with TGIF. Various events have been lined up but not many people maximize the goldmines these events are. Many don’t realize this but wonder why they are feeling lonely at events and even ask themselves why people just walk past them without even saying Hi. Are you a wallflower?

This happens when people don’t get out of their comfort zone to interact with others. Sometimes you feel nobody knows you or you don’t know what to talk about but these self-inhibiting talks make it difficult to network with people. Although there are some people who by nature are introverts and may not be outgoing to initiate conversation with people. But this mindset only stops us from taking advantage of the opportunities to meet people who may be able to share important information. So I would like to proffer some steps that can help you ace up your networking skills:

 Be Approachable –wear a pleasant expression on your face and smile. Use eye contact, a smile and a confident handshake when you approach somebody or someone walks to you. Make an effort to remember the individual’s name as you shake hands. Also try to employ genuine compliments in your conversation with people; it will go a long way to leave an indelible memory of you in their hearts.
 Your Introduction – I know how it feels when you see somebody you have been dying to meet but fall tongue-tied when introductions are done. Trust me, this happens to people. You are not the first and will not be the last. It is important to have a crafted introduction. Prepare a brief, clear and interesting introduction. You can practice your self-introduction before going out so you feel comfortable and confident about it but remember what you say in your introduction depends on the type of event. To make a lasting impression on people, introduce yourself with a unique opener. The most widely used networking icebreaker, “What do you do?” is becoming a common cliché and it may not be appropriate for all types of event. Greeson Batch wrote that you should always come to an event prepared with some introductory questions and you should be ready to share anecdote or something you learned recently that applies to the situation.
 Apply the 80/20 Principle – effective networking involves two-way conversation. It’s easy to get caught up in yourself when someone asks about your career. But event attendees should be genuinely interested in the person they are speaking to and make active effort to listen as much as they talk. Your sincere interest in somebody else is what makes networking interesting because you could build lifelong relationship. It is important to ask good questions in your conversations as this will help you get more information about the other person’s personality, interests and needs.
 Pitch perfect –many people are not aware of this, but reaching out to connect with people gives you the opportunity to develop your elevator speech. When someone asks about you, take time to develop a 30 second description about yourself and what you do. You may never get this opportunity again so don’t blow it; also endeavor to make it compelling and informative.

There is more to events and social functions than just buying aso-ebi and taking selfies with celebrities. Sure, they are great ways to market yourself and business but when next you go for that friend’s wedding, movie premiere or music concert, get your back off the wall, move to the center of the room and mingle with people. You never know you may be chatting with a potential business partner or client.

Happy networking!

TORINMO SALAU

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