Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Shy Networker

It may be one thing to find opportunities to network, but it is quite another to succeed at it. For many people, the mere idea of networking is frightening, let alone entering a room full of strangers and striking up a conversation. I’ve come across a few articles that have some advice on how to network if you are not a natural.

Learning to Love Networking: How a Shy Guy Became a Master Glad-Hander
Inc. Magazine
August 2006 by Mike Spinney
Describes techniques to overcome anxiety including acknowledging the fear, and then having a plan of attack. First, avoid the boring intro, keep the listener engaged. As an example, the author explains how Reed Thompson, the focus of the story, improved his delivery:
You also have to keep them interested. To that end, he stopped telling people he was a personal financial adviser, which usually prompted glazed-over expressions and a change of subject. Instead, he began describing himself as the founder and president of a company that helps people take control of their finances. Suddenly, people began asking questions about him and his services.
Other tips include arriving early, practicing skills at more relaxed, familiar functions and keeping at it.

Networking Strategies for Shy Professionals
By Judy Rosemarin
Done right, networking is a lifelong, evolutionary process that you should do frequently, if not daily. It's as natural as eating and sleeping. Whenever you talk with others and seek their opinions to make an informed decision -- even if it's just to find a good restaurant, movie or electrician -- you're networking.

How Do I Overcome Shyness in Marketing My Home Business?
by Ellen Parlapiano and Pat Cobe, The Mompreneurs

Don't be shy: Networking tips for the timid
Joan Lloyd

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