I participated in my first national convention in 1999 and did not know what I was doing. I was at the meeting: "If you want a national speech, you have to make a national network." That made sense, so I decided to attend the AWC (Association for Women of Communication) national conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As soon as I got there, I did not know what to do. I could not just go up to people and say, "Hey, do you need a motivational talker or a workshop?"

I do not have networking skills that need to start the relationship building process. There was also a lack of social skills to connect with people. For example, instead of concentrating on others and getting to know their profession, I compared myself to others and, of course, every time I sat in a general meeting, I had to talk to a Clarion winner or president of a company. did little to increase my level of confidence.

I learned a lot from this experience: Keep an eye on others, not yourself. To make enjoyable conversations, look for a meeting before, be a local or national event. Ask questions to explore important information. First of all remember that relationship building takes time and is unlikely to get immediate results due to sales or new business growth. You may not be able to recognize the opportunities before us when you first start.

I admit that if you were not from the loop, you may be uncomfortable with more mistakes. the first national conference, but I continued with a mantra, "comfort is not a requirement for me". In fact, two Clarion winners were sitting at the Clarion Awards banquet night, one from Atlanta Georgia and the other from Washington DC. I remember not feeling enough because I did not live in large metropolitan areas and I just started my career. At one point, the Atlantic woman greeted my dress and asked, "So, do you feel good?" What I answered, "No, I'm really pathetic, but fortunately, comfort is not required for me." (Both women looked at me as if they were from space.) Though he was embarrassed at the time, he was one of my favorite stories when he was talking about networking. Even though I found out the faux pasem, I was forging and making the best use of it.

Why do people stumble when they hear the word "networking"? Many people think of networking like many business card exchanges, social functions, or leadership. But networking through building relationships and building relationships means building, building on common interests, communicating regularly, and seeking mutual help. In other words, it becomes resource for others.

After many years ago a national convention, I became a friend of several people to stay in touch via e-mail and phone. From this event (where I was not), I got a conversation in a national convention, a PR professional and a magazine in Physics magazine, and in many radio and magazine interviews, not at night. The more links we build to the more entertaining business and the process of starting your own club.

If you are an experienced member of a civil or business club, meet new members and invite them to sit with you. Be prepared to call those who have recently joined and welcomed them. Use your club as a "vehicle" to invite you the opportunity to do business. Take care of what it was like when you just started moving from another state or being overwhelmed and knowingly looking for those who copied another city. Invite potential members and tell them what your body means to you.

If you're new to being networked and frustrated, remember to have long-term networking. You can not predict all the wonderful things that you have stored for three to five years. Just do the job and trust the process and remember comfort is not a requirement!

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