If you've ever tried networking, it's not easy. It can be intimidating, overwhelming and sometimes really awkward.
I've attended a couple of networking events in the past, and while I'm no expert, I've noticed some tricks and tips that make the process a little bit easier.
1. Do your research: know who is attending, who you want to speak to, and read up on their bio. You'll be able to ask better questions and make conversation if you know a bit about them. People love talking about themselves!
2. Know what you want to see. You know that you're interesting, unique and smart, and you want professionals to know that too. Practice your story - what are three things you would want someone else to know about you? Practice with a friend if need be?
3. Be aware of your body language. If you feel shy, it's easy to want to make yourself smaller and sit in a corner. Feeling cornered? You may put your arms in front of your chest as an instinct. However, you want to appear relaxed, friendly and open at a networking event. Stand up straight, keep your shoulders back and look people in the eye when you speak.
4. If you haven't already heard of this amazing site, be sure to check out Ten Thousand Coffees. It's a great professional networking site that allows you to connect with professionals in your city and industry. It's easy to make a profile and ask an expert out to coffee.
Good luck at your next networking event!