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4 practical tips for reluctant networkers

Networking. You know it’s important and you know making new contacts is a sure fire way to

win business. That’s why you’ve booked tickets to ScotSoft 2016 and you’re hoping to meet

plenty of likeminded people on the day.

The only problem is that the word ‘networking’ makes you break out in a rash so you’re

considering following the event on Twitter instead.

Never fear, networking doesn’t have to be daunting and the benefits definitely outweigh the

pre-game nerves.

Here are our top tips to help you polish up your schmoozing skills and ‘fake it til you make it’:

Getting in…

For many people, the most nerve-racking part of networking is getting into your first

conversation of the session. Naturally we gravitate towards people we know but what if you

don’t recognise anyone in the room? First off, do your best to smile. With your body language

sorted, take a deep breath and introduce yourself to the person next to you. Once you’ve

bitten the bullet and started talking you’ll forget why you were so worried in the first place.

If you feel unable to join in a conversation already taking place, stand a few feet from where

refreshments are being served, as this tends to be the first place people migrate to. This will

allow you to say hello before they join anyone else, and you can start your own conversation.

…and getting out again

If you find yourself in a conversation you no longer wish to be a part of, don’t feel obliged to

continue. Tell the person you are with it was interesting speaking with them and wish them

good luck.

Practice your “pitch”

If you think your networking skills might be a bit rusty, set some time aside to prepare in

advance. Jot down a few sentences about yourself and practice saying them aloud a few

times in private. This way you’ll be able to quickly and confidently let people know about

yourself, so you can move the conversation forward and find out how you might be able to

help one another. But remember, it’s not Dragons’ Den. Try to relax and don’t launch into a

hard sell on the first person you meet in the coffee queue.

Focus on building relationships

Networking offers an opportunity to build relationships, not just pass out your details to as

many people as possible. When you meet new people, listen to what they have to say and

consider what you might be able to offer, rather than focusing on what you can gain from

them. Putting your personal agenda to the side also means you’re more likely to have an

interesting conversation and learn new things.

To book your tickets for the Developer Conference and Global Forum and to secure a

table at the Awards Dinner, please click here

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