One of the hardest things people who want to enter the PR field have the hardest times with is networking. People are naturally shy and can be afraid of sharing their ideas.
Luckily, I am not one of them.
Here are some tricks I learned over the years that can hopefully help you get the courage to share your voice and meet some great people.
Look for networking opportunities, find one, and sign up for it. You can’t network if you stay at home.
If you go to a networking event with a friend, split up with that person for an hour or two. What often happens is that you and your friend will spend the entire time talking to each other because you are too afraid to mingle with others, which means you won’t meet anyone interesting.
The night before an event, make a list of your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. This will help put an end to awkward “ummms” and “huhs” during conversations about the PR field with the new people you meet.
Name brand clothes don’t make you look like a million bucks, being comfortable does. If you wear something comfy but at the same time look professional, you will stand tall and look more attractive, making you more confident to network with people.
Speaking of things to wear, wear a smile. Having a smile at a social event gives you a presence of confidence and people will look positively upon you and want to flock to you.
The strongest word on earth is “hate.” Avoid it at all costs. In fact, avoid using any word that has a negative meaning. You would be surprised about how someone’s use of a certain word can be etched in one person’s memory for a lifetime. Recently, I met a new co-worker and in the first conversation I had with her, she said some pretty not nice things. That girl turned out to be pretty cool and a hard worker, but all that sticks in my mind is the swearword. Don’t let yourself be associated with the word hate or anything negative.
Don’t just go through the motions of talking to someone, actually listen to them. Conversations must be two-sided. Networking is about connecting, not just landing.
Keep up with current events. There’s nothing worse than speaking to someone who doesn’t know anything. Keep up to date with current events – industry wise and in the rest of the world, too. Nothing is more boring than talking to someone who doesn’t know anything about what is going on in the world.
The biggest goal of networking in person isn’t sharing business cards, its sharing ideas. If you have good ideas and the courage to share them, those business cards will come your way. Anyone who asks for a business card will get one, but someone who shares ideas and earns it will be remembered. It is those people who succeed in life and with networking.