Posted on May 28, 2021 at 1:43 AM
Tags: Business Growth, Communication, Networking
Confidence is an imperative aspect of networking, whether you’re doing it in real life or online. It helps you meet people, make impactful conversations and build relationships. When you’re confident, you can easily project your personality and that of your brand.
Networking is a recipe for a successful career. As such, you need to pursue networks aggressively and with confidence. The good thing is confidence is neither innate nor a preserve for a particular few. You can always train yourself to be confident. So here are 5 ways to become confident when networking IRL and online
1. Do your research
Whether it's IRL networking or online, you need to have an idea about the people you’re likely to meet. Proper research will provide you with conversation material, which is a boost of confidence. Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter should give you clues about the attendees. Besides, that’s where you’ll get hot industry topics for discussion.
You should also establish your goals for networking. That will determine the type of networking events to attend. Some events can be excellent for learning skills, others are ideal for meeting fellow professionals, whereas some are perfect for job hunting. Defining your goals beforehand should help you network with confidence because you know what you want and how to get it.
2. Rehearse your pitch
Proper preparation boosts your confidence. When you practice and master your stuff, you can easily stand before people and explain it with confidence, because you understand it better than them.
So always rehearse your presentations before a networking event. You can create a pitch detailing your goals, personal description, and your professional attributes. Present it to friends, or do it alone in front of a mirror or while taking a video. This should help you assess your presentation and determine areas that need improvement.
Continuous practice will eventually make your presentation perfect. You can even feel yourself reciting the presentation flawlessly with your eyes closed.
3. Work on your body language
Your body language during a networking situation will determine whether people will listen to you or give you a cold shoulder. Your audience wants a confident person. And your body language is one effective way to project your self-confidence.
Stay calm, composed, and relax your body during your presentation. If you’re stiff, you’ll come across as disinterested and bored. And who would listen or approach someone who isn't passionate about their presentation?
Maintaining eye contact and smiling at your audience are other ways to involve people in your presentation. This works great in endearing them, so much so that they want to learn more about you.
4. Involve your audience
When speaking with a new contact you shouldn’t do all the talking. Make it a two-way conversation. Ask questions that will easily draw them into the conversation. Talk about their interests, professional background, and other exciting things about the event you just attended.
5. Start with warm calls
The best way to boost your confidence as an online networker is to start from the known. Dealing with people you know is highly likely to give you results compared to cold calls. Once you’ve achieved your goals, you can then aspire to achieve similar results with cold calls.
While we hardly notice it, we all have networks that can help us extend our reach. You have that person who advises you about your business. What about that role model who inspires you? Maybe a friend or acquaintance that is doing well in their profession? These are worthy networks that most people ignore. Leverage them!
How? Make those warm calls. Ask them for updates or help even. These people are likely to respond well, connect you with other people or even invite you to network events. This should motivate you to achieve more and even go for the cold calls.
Confidence can work wonders for your networking campaign. It makes you come across as someone who knows their stuff and what they need. The strategies above should help you develop more confidence and conquer the networking world.