Active networking is vital to career growth. It involves building long-term relationships with colleagues along with a trusted reputation. Though it happens over time, networking is beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to meet people who can assist you, and who you can potentially help in return. Therefore, you should take advantage of every chance to network and presentations present an excellent opportunity. Not only is this a great way to solidify your message, but it’s a prime time to start building meaningful relationships with potential clients and partners. Consider these networking tips for your next presentation.
Create a Chance to Talk
Don’t plan on leaving after your closing remarks. The end of the presentation is where the real work starts. Instead of standing around waiting for people to come talk to you, be proactive and address them first. Let your audience know you will be available to talk after the presentation and use this opportunity to work the room and start real conversations with people. Remember to relax, be yourself, and take a genuine interest in what they have to say. This is your chance to listen to them. A sincere attitude is more effective in establishing lasting relationships.
Set a Goal
Before you even begin your presentation, you need to have a networking goal in mind for after the presentation. What is it that you want to achieve? Aim to make at least five new business contacts or collect at least ten business cards. If you set a goal on the front end, you are more likely to have a successful networking session.
If you want to be a successful networker, you must first be a good listener. Networking isn’t about having a hidden agenda. Rather, it’s about taking a genuine interest in the ideas and needs of others. Your presentation was completely focused on you and your position so now is the time to really listen to your audience.
Networking is more than just selling yourself. It’s not all about you. The goal is to share ideas and concerns with others and nurture such conversations. Successful relationships extend far beyond the initial conversation. They should continue for years so it’s crucial to spend time building rapport with each person.
Networking starts with exchanging contact information, but fostering a strong and lasting relationship requires much more. Business cards alone don’t grow your network. It’s up to you to follow-up, re-introduce yourself, and continue conversations. Treat your connections like friends and take the time to check in with them periodically.