Networking horror stories and how to overcome them
Our scariest networking dilemmas… and how to find your happy ending.
Everyone has their ups and downs during the course of their career – especially when it comes to networking. Whether it’s missing out on winning a client, confidence issues or not having enough promotional materials, navigating the world of networking can be difficult.
Nonetheless, in honour of Halloween, we’d like to share a few networking horror stories and what you can do to get the better of them.
Tongue Tied Terrors
Networking is essentially chatting for the most part, so it’s crucial to be able to strike up a conversation with ease. But that being said – it’s not uncommon to feel a little shy around a new group of people sometimes. Or to even get stuck with what to talk about – everyone has their off days!
We advise buddying up at networking events. Whether that means bringing a colleague with you to network together or meeting up with one or two from different companies and attending events together. We’d also recommend preparing some icebreakers to get the conversation running.
If all else fails, use props! Be sure to bring a whole host of promotional materials including your Business Cards. Bonus point – make them extra engaging so that they can be used as conversation starters as well. Why not try out Printfinity to print different designs on the back of the product and showcase your work or services?
Return of the Sweat Patches
Sweat and stress go hand in hand. Whether you’re presenting to big-time clients or anxious about meeting new people, the nervous sweats can crush your focus. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are various ways of restoring your confidence.
Staying calm is easier said than done, especially in stressful situations. But practising breathing exercises has been proven to help you relax. From simply lengthening your exhale to breathing deeply and more focused.
Alternatively, we’d suggest wearing light or sweat-proof clothing, preparing with antiperspirant, and finding positive distractions. Why not try listening to music, watching a funny video or taking a short walk?
The Invisible Man
Have you ever walked into a room and noticed that everyone else has already partnered up, deep in conversation? Whether you’re finding it hard to grab someone’s conversation or stay in one for that matter, we’ve got some tips and tricks to get you started.
Firstly, ensure your conversation has a purpose and ask yourself what you hope to get out of it before you start speaking to people. Secondly, consider your body language. When you approach someone, keep your hands visible, roll your shoulders back and make eye contact.
We’d also suggest gently inserting yourself into groups and coming up with open-ended questions that keep the conversation going. Lastly, from Flyers to Stickers and Business Cards, bring colourful and engaging promotional materials with you when networking – they can act as conversation starters too.
Attack of the Imposter Syndrome
Ever felt like a fraud at work? That feeling where you believe your success is pretty much down to luck, and sooner or later, everyone will realize. You’re not alone. This issue affects more of us than you think. The impact is that your presence is weakened. But there are plenty of ways to overcome this.
Firstly, take control of your self-talk. Stop telling yourself you’re too young, old or shy, and introduce positive mantras and affirmations into your life. Whether that be before big meetings and presentations or just as a weekly wellness task.
We’d also suggest challenging yourself. By doing this, you’ll continually grow and surprise yourself with your own capabilities. Lastly, write it down. Seeing your achievements physically may help you to overcome imposter syndrome and realize you are where you’re meant to be.
Curse of the Brain Fog
Was it Joe or Jerry? Katie or Karen? Steve or Barry? Can’t remember someone’s name? We’ve all been there. But failing to remember someone’s name over and over again is not just embarrassing, it’s also a little insulting. And can lead to damaged relationships at work.
But there are some simple steps you can take to help. Firstly, focus on that person – giving them your undivided attention means you can engage in a meaningful way. Forgetting names is most often caused by a lack of focus and effort.
Secondly, you could repeat their name aloud – repetition is meant to engrave better in the memory. Lastly, find an association between the name and something familiar. It could be something that rhymes with it, a celebrity with the same name – or even using alliteration can effectively trigger recalls of someone’s name. And if all else fails, get some name tags next time!
Death from Boredom
Sometimes, trade shows and events just don’t meet our expectations. For a number of reasons. As an attendee, we’d recommend targeting more specific events that are on things you actually care about – whether that be your goals or industry.
As someone exhibiting at a trade show, there are many ways to make your booth stand out from the hundreds of others. Firstly, focus on the exterior – use a pop-up tent to create an intimate environment. Then, go big – with pictures, marketing, and even TV screens. Make it interactive – add a game to make it more fun! Allow your attendees to test your products. And lastly, create engaging Business Cards with different designs using Printfinity to stand out from the crowd.
Ready to face your (networking) fears? Get your brand happy ending with MOO marketing materials.
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