Kick-start the New Year by boosting your networking skills

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interesting in you.

Dale Carnegie

Hoping the New Year has been good to you so far! It’s been a time of reflection for me so I wonder, how many of you have had a break over the Christmas period and set yourself some career goals for 2017? Perhaps now is the right time for you to work towards a promotion, boost your revenue, find a new role or even start your own business?
 
No matter what your goals are, your networking skills are going to play an important role in helping you achieve those goals. The better and more refined your skills are, the greater your chance of networking with the right people in the right way.
 
One of the best investments you can make in your career is professional networking training. If you’re serious about striving towards the goals you set for yourself for 2017, then boosting your networking skills should be high on your list of priorities.
 
How to enhance your networking skills

  • Create a networking ‘toolbox’ that’s full of phrases, tips and techniques you can refer to whenever you need it. Write down the key points, and you can carry them on a small piece of paper to refer to occasionally. With time, you’ll be able to remember what’s in your toolbox and pull the right tools out instantly when they are needed.

 

  • Practice your introductions with friends, family and colleagues. One stock standard ‘elevator pitch’ won’t be suitable for everyone you meet, so have a few up your sleeve. help my clients develop a few different introductions depending on the particular product or service hat relates to each audience.

 

  • Have the confidence to be proactive and approach other people. Sitting in the room hoping for someone to come up to you isn’t the best tactic. Your ‘toolbox’ will give you the confidence you need.

 

  • Balance the conversations you have with others. If you find yourself doing all the talking, take a moment to let the other person contribute to the conversation too. If you’ve hardly said a word, jump in whenever you get a chance.

 

  • Work out a way to politely end a conversation that is going nowhere. You’ll quickly know if you have a connection with the person you’re speaking to, so if they’re not a good fit, move on. 

Great networking skills can be learned. If you’re interested in a professional networking orkshop  that will teach you these skills and more, take a look at our next half day Business Networking Skills Workshop on 14th March 2017. 
 
Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

 

Posted on January 25, 2017 .

Why networking courses are the best career investment you can make

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest"

Benjamin Franklin

It’s no secret that effective networking can bring a plethora of rewards.

But it’s the “doing it effectively” part that is the key. Turning up to a networking event unprepared and just hoping for the best is a common approach, unfortunately, and doesn’t always yield the best results.  

If you’re serious about your career and you’re ready to take it to the next level, a professional networking course is one of the best career investments you can make. Networking has been proven to deliver a significant return on investment, and is an invaluable business tool.

Networking strategically is a learned skill. Through a networking course, you can learn:

·        How to work out who to best connect with. Not everyone at an event will be a suitable match for you, so it’s important to focus your efforts on the right people.

·        How to start charismatic conversations, and have the confidence to start them. You don’t need an elevator pitch; you simply need to know how to open the conversation in a friendly and memorable way.

·        How to end a conversation tactfully when you need to. Some people won’t be suitable for you to build a business relationship with, so you need to move on and find someone who is a better match.

·        How to interpret the body language of others, and control your own. If you’re nervous, you’ll be sending out vibes with your body language (without even knowing it) that can make you seem unapproachable.

·        How to follow up properly with connection you’ve made so you can build a reciprocal and mutually beneficial business relationship. Often you need to do more than just send a follow up email.

These might seem like easy tasks, particularly if you believe yourself to be a confident or extroverted person. Going through the motions with tasks like these can net you some good results, but mastering these skills is what’s going to give you outstanding results. The investment you make on professional networking training will teach you skills you can use for a lifetime.  

If you’re interested in a professional networking course that will teach you these skills, take a look at our next half day Business Networking Skills Workshop on 14th March 2017.  

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

Posted on January 12, 2017 .

What are the best types of networking events to attend?

 

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

The popularity of networking is constantly growing, simply because it works.

No matter where you are and what industry you’re in, there’s bound to be an excess of events to choose from. We’re all time poor, and as much as it would be nice to go to every single event, the reality is that you’ll have to pick and choose.

With more and more networking opportunities popping up all the time, how do you know which types of networking events that are going to be worth attending?

Here are some event types that I’ve found to be worthwhile.

1.     Industry specific events

Going to an event that is specific for your industry is the best place to learn from others, which is one of the many benefits of networking. Most will usually have a guest speaker for the event, and the information provided will be highly relevant to your position.

2.     Roundtable events

These kinds of events are usually industry specific too. It’s a wonderful chance for you to have an open discussion with your peers that can lead to new ideas, a new direction and some motivation. You can also bounce ideas off each other and get feedback on recent projects.

3.     Breakfast meetings

These are less industry specific and more location based. Held over breakfast in the morning before the standard working day kicks off, they are a nice time to network without the normal interruptions of work. You can pitch ideas and get in front of potential employers or clients.

4.     After-hours events

Some events mix networking with a casual drink and nibbles. The atmosphere is more relaxed and it often makes approaching strangers a little easier. However, if you’re actively looking for a new job, go easy on the cocktails!

5.     Online networking

LinkedIn is probably the best place to find online networking groups. Here you’ll be able to find all sorts of groups who fit your target market or industry niche. You’ll be able to reach a greater audience and have the convenience of doing it whenever it suits you.  

If you’re not sure what kind of networking event is going to best suit you, try a few and see which ones give you the best results.  

If you’re interested in a professional networking course that will teach you these skills, take a look at our next Business Networking Skills Workshop on 14th March 2017.

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

 

 

Posted on December 21, 2016 .

How great presentation skills can lead to more effective networking

 

There are good leaders who actively guide and bad leaders who actively misguide. Hence, leadership is about persuasion, presentation and people skills. 

Shiv Khera

Networking and presentation skills go hand in hand. Great presentation skills will enhance your networking efforts, and regular networking will improve your presentation skills.

I have helped many people sharpen their presentation skills over the years. Whether you intend to give a presentation at an event, or are just there to meet new people, there are certain things you can do to make sure you present yourself well.

 

Slow down

When you’re nervous, it can be easy to rush through your words without even realizing it. Take a moment to be aware of your speech and make an effort to slow it down, pause and gather your thoughts.

 

Breathe

An inexperienced or nervous speaker often breathes shallowly. They don’t take deep breaths but instead only use the top quarter of their lungs. This can make you sound out of breath, as if you’re running while you’re speaking. Take some deep breaths when you can - when someone asks a question is a great time.

 

Make eye contact

Making eye contact with the person or people you’re speaking to is good manners, makes that person feel included and shows you have confidence in what you’re doing and saying.

 

Don’t read your speech

One of the worst things you can do is write a speech and simply read it out. This doesn’t allow for any connections to be made with the people in the room, and implies that you don’t really understand your own message. Instead, have some cue cards, or if you have a PowerPoint presentation, use the slides as your cue.

 

Project your voice

If your audience can’t hear you, what’s the point of giving a speech? Even general conversation can be a struggle if you have a quiet voice and you’re in a noisy room. Projecting your voice doesn’t mean you have to yell. You simply need to stand up straight and let your voice come from your lungs rather than your throat.

 

Avoid the ‘um’s and ‘ah’s

If you notice the dreaded ‘um’s and ‘ah’s sneaking their way into your presentation, try to actively replace them with a pause or a deep breath in and out. The pause might seem awkward, but your audience will barely notice it, and it’s better than an ‘um’!

 

Stay and mingle

I’m one of those presenters that likes to arrive early and stay after I have presented. It helps me connect with my audience better and I usually get my best questions at networking time. Make sure you make the most of breaks and meals and use them to speak to people you don’t usually have access too! End of year events are a perfect occasion!

 

Being able to present yourself in a clear, confident manner is essential, not only to your networking success, but to your career success overall. If you think you’d benefit from some training that will increase your networking confidence, please check out our Business Networking Skills Workshop here.

 

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

Posted on November 23, 2016 .

The 5 top benefits of networking and why you need to do it

 

Sometimes, idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in Heaven. To succeed in this world you have to be known to people. 

Sonia Sotomayor

Business networking has so many wonderful benefits, and actively getting yourself out there and networking is vital for business growth and furthering your career.  

I am writing this because every time I train with clients, there are always those people in the room that resist networking and even claim to hate it! By the end of the session, they skip out excited about understanding how to be more strategic and enjoy networking. Whilst there are many, many benefits to networking, let me give you my top 5 reasons why I think it’s such a worthwhile activity.  

1)     You’ll build and strengthen relationships

Networking isn’t about broadcasting your talents or trying to make sales. It’s about meeting new people and strengthening relationships with connections you already have. It’s about giving and receiving and expanding your network so you can reach out for reciprocal help when you need it.  

2)     You’ll learn and receive advice

Networking allows you to tap into the expertise of others and have access to advice that you normally wouldn’t receive. Having like-minded people to talk to, especially if you’re an entrepreneur and work alone, can be a godsend.  

3)     You’ll find new opportunities

Expanding your network of connections can open up a plethora of new doors, whether they are for business growth, career advancement, collaborations or job offers. The majority of jobs are never advertised, and are only created and filled through word of mouth and network connections.  

4)     You’ll be motivated and will find fresh ideas

The conversations you have with your connections can provide an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas, and can be highly motivating. Coming up with new ideas and exchanging information is one of the key benefits of networking.  

5)     You’ll raise your profile

A major part of networking is simply being visible. Getting your face known by attending the right events regularly is a great way to raise your profile. You’re more likely to receive leads and referrals, and people are more likely to think of you when they’re asked to recommend someone.  

Regular networking can set you up for maximum career progression, or allow you to expand your business. You’ll raise your profile, have access to more opportunities and have a better chance of reaching your goals. To find out more about the benefits of networking, grab a friend and join us for our Business Networking Skills Workshop here.  

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

Posted on November 9, 2016 .