You have a networking event, but it feels similar to a high school party all over again. Where should I stand? Does my outfit look okay? Who should I go talk to first? What should we talk about? Should I have another drink???
Put down the valium and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you are confident, you are smart. If you are smart, you are beautiful. Still not convinced? Here are some tips to pave your path to networking poise.
Where should I stand?
Work the room. Don’t hover next to the punch bowl, get out and mingle. You’re fabulous, and more than likely not the only chick with cold feet. Heat things up and march your pretty little stilettos up to a friendly face and introduce yourself. The best way to start a conversation is this, “Hi! I’m Stephanie with Chic CEO (shake her hand), so what do you do?” Simple! Listen to what she does and start asking questions. Don’t immediately talk about yourself or what you do, that will immediately end the conversation.
Does my outfit look okay?
Tonight is not the night where you have to Google the latest and greatest new trends so that you can fit in the crowd. Be yourself. Wear what you feel most gorgeous in. Of course, you can never go wrong with a little black dress. Don’t be too revealing, do be too covered up. Business casual all the way and if you know you will be standing for a long time, wear appropriate shoes!
Why not have someone come talk to you first? It’s all about looking welcoming and approachable. Open up your body language; don’t cross those arms. Smile. Twinkle. Shine. It’ll be like moth to a flame. If that’s still not working, try the bag trick. Find someone with a really great bag, walk up and compliment her on it. Once she tells you, introduce yourself and ask what she does. Easy.
What should we talk about?
Be interested. Be interesting. You’re here to network, but the key thing is that you’re here to build connections. Ask questions. Learn about the other person. Who are they? What do they do? How can you help them? And most importantly, how can they help you? If you ask interesting questions about her and what she does, you’ll never run out of things to talk about. If you’d like to move on, just end the conversation by saying, “It was so nice meeting you. Thank you for your card, I’ll be in touch. Enjoy your evening!”
Should I have another drink???
Know your limits. If you are a light weight, limit yourself to just one drink. Don’t over do it. Still need a bit more confidence sans alcohol? Here’s a little playlist to help you get in the networking mood. You can do it!
1. Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
2. Tell Me Something Good – Chaka Khan
3. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
4. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
5. Don’t Worry Baby – Beach Boys
6. You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
7. Strength, Courage, & Wisdom – India.Arie
8. Your Body is a Wonderland – John Mayer
9. Carry On – Crosby, Stills, & Nash
10. Rock & Roll – Eric Hutchinson
11. The Sound of Sunshine – Michael Franti & Spearhead
12. Some Kind of Wonderful – Joss Stone
13. Wild Night – Van Morrison
14. New Shoes – Paolo Nutini
15. Love and Happiness – Al Green
16. PYT – Michael Jackson
17. Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson
About Chic CEO-
Chic CEO is a free web resource for female entrepreneurs. We provide the ground level information that women need to get their businesses started. From how to write a business plan to buying the right franchise, Chic CEO has all of the nuts and bolts to get up and running.