5 Mistakes Not to Make at a Networking Event

networking eventPeople make mistakes all of the time. We’re all human.  But the best way not to make a mistake is to know what others have done and then avoid repeating them. The following are some of the most common mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1: Wearing Something Uncomfortable

Watch out for that jacket or shoes that might be a bit too tight. You’ll be feeling it throughout the entire event and pay more attention to them than meeting people. Not only that, you will probably be more self-conscious and that can ruin your self-confidence. Only wear an outfit and shoes that you feel completely comfortable and powerful in, so you can relay that feeling when you are meeting people.

Mistake #2: Talking Too Much

People end networking with “talkers” quickly. They run from talkers. Don’t make people want to head for the hills because you dominate the conversation. Step back, ask questions, and allow the person you approached to speak. You can then step back in when that person asks you questions. Don’t take it as permission to go on and on about yourself though. Keep it short and sweet because the person you’re speaking to will appreciate it and be more likely willing to connect with you again.

Mistake #3: Drinking Too Much

Talking too much and drinking too much sometimes go hand in hand. You should never treat a networking event as a party. You need to maintain your composure and be professional. It’s okay to have one or two drinks to relax you and get in the groove, but limit yourself, so you don’t end up being the one that is boisterously drunk.

Mistake #4: Hide

Networking events are for meeting new people. When you spend most of your time in the bathroom, in the corner, or in the lobby, you will probably leave feeling as though it was a waste of your time. Get out there and shake some hands to make connections. Put your worries and inhibitions aside, so you can see who can help you and who you can help.

Mistake #5: Leave Empty Handed

Business cards, website URLs, LinkedIn profile names, and other ways to connect should be in your hands or pockets as you leave from the network event. You can then reconnect with people to take your connections one step forward.

Now that you know the most common mistakes for a networking event, make sure you don’t make the same ones. They are easy to avoid, so just keep them in mind and do your best. You’ll soon find that you don’t have to worry about messing up and can network with people successfully.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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