A true Lady Boss can charm a room full of influencers wearing nothing but a paper bag dress. How? Confidence! And the right accessories.
Your friend invites you to a networking event, but cancels at the last minute with the flu. “Go without me!”, she insists. Do you still attend as a plus, without your one? Absolutely! Take a deep breath, slide into your favourite pair of pumps and head to this event with the confidence of the Lady Boss that you are!
- Jot down networking goals for yourself. Are you looking to make an impression with potential business partners and reps, build your network of potential customers, or simply spread a message? Store these goals in your phone (in your notes section, if you have an iPhone) so that you can glance at them throughout the night if need be.
- Do your research. A little research goes along way at networking events. Knowing who is going to be there, and what they do enables you to single out who might be at the top of your mingling list and functions as the best conversation starter.
- Know your pitch. Whether this be a general explanation about what it is you’re passionate about, or a written down rehearsed introduction–know it. Your personal pitch will get easier with time. If you find yourself fumbling at times, push through and just keep practicing!
- Open with a compliment. This is the easiest way to almost anyone’s heart. Compliment a fellow Lady Boss’s business concept, accomplishment–or simply their outfit!
- Share personal stories. The strongest connections are built on friendships, so don’t be afraid of getting to know others on a personal level. And have fun!
- Ask open-ended questions. Questions answered by a simple yes or no don’t enable much room for discussion. Asking open-ended questions provokes conversation and adds depth to an otherwise dry first-time conversation.
- Jump in. If guests are already engaged in conversation as you enter the room, don’t be afraid to approach a nearby group, politely wait for a natural break in conversation, and join in! Don’t forget: Everyone you spot at a networking event is there to meet new people, just like you. Because of this, most people whom you approach will be thrilled to welcome you into their conversation.
- Don’t forget to collect contact information! This is the cherry on top of a successful networking event for two reasons: 1) Everyone and anyone can be a valuable contact, depending on the time and place. 2) Closing this way is a polite and effective exit tactic when a conversation runs stale.
At the end of the night when you take your feet out of your pumps and fall onto your bed, take a deep breath. Did you speak to one person? Congratulations. It is absolutely impossible to mingle with everyone, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re feeling defeated, simply make goals for the next event that you attend. As you further iron out your person pitch by putting yourself out there, your confidence will grow.