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Become a networking master in 40 easy steps

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Keep your energy up

Networking events often mean lots of alcohol and little sleep. If you planning on jumping straight into the spirit of it all, a few simple steps can keep you at your best from open to close. 

(1) Make good food choices. Foods high in natural fats slow alcohol absorption. A salmon and avocado wrap with mayo is a perfect choice. 

(2) Drink between drinks. A glass of water between alcoholic drinks will keep you hydrated and reduce your chances of a hangover.

(3) Take time out This is especially important for introverts. Being able to give 100 per cent for 75 per cent of the event is better than giving 50 per cent the whole time.

Three people to approach – and how

It’s naturally to want to talk to the “names”, but everyone else will too. Consider who else you can approach that can help just as much:

(4) Panel moderators. Established, knowledgeable and well connected; they’ll also be less crowded. Have a chat and ask them who they think you’d benefit from meeting.

(5) The A-lister’s “people.” Managers, PAs, publishers; they’re likely to be nearby during public events. Ask them the best way to get a message to the person you want to speak to.

(6) The quiet ones. That person sitting quietly on their own in might be taking some time out, or they might have already “made-it” and not need to network. It’s worth a shot.

Three reasons that saying thank you is vital for business success

Five ways to leave more than a good impression

Getting it right when you do speak to that person you know can help fulfil your goals can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Being prepared will help you do it right and show them that you understand how these things work:

(7) Know what you want to say in advance.

(8) Be polite and respectful without fawning.

(9) Show that you appreciate how busy they are.

(10) Give them a pre-written note that says what you might not have time to.

(11) Don’t forget to include your contact details!

Four reasons playing dumb can be a bold move

Everyone’s going to be out to impress, but being a know-it-all often backfires. Being curious and positive is far more impressive:

(12) Show genuine interest in what people are saying.

(13) If you don’t understand something, ask. 

(14) The more you ask (within reason) the more people will notice and want to know about you.

(15) Questions beget questions; be ready to shine when your time comes.

Continue reading on the next page for turning small talk into big talk and key dos and don’ts for any event.

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