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The Art of Networking: Be the Host not the Guest

If you go to a networking event frequently, which you should do, and you see someone who is new or a first timer. Go up to them, introduce yourself and make it a point to show them around and introduce them. It may be a nuisance to you, but you could very well make their night. You may not realize it, but that little piece of information may get you the deal of a lifetime.

One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think that simple sentence speaks volumes. We can’t change the world. We can only change ourselves. And by changing ourselves, we change the world.

“Being the host” forces you to step out more. Yes, perhaps even a bit beyond your comfort zone. It’s awkward to go somewhere where you have never been. Seeing people for the first time. So when someone goes out of their way to introduce you to people, you don’t forget them. Even if they don’t get whole lot out of the event, they will remember to person that took their time out and introduced them to people.

When you get to a conversation that you want to be part of

Stop – Enter conversations – Contribute. If you are good enough, they will ask for your card.

Enter a conversation. Don’t talk. Wait. Wait for the opportunity to contribute something worthwhile. If the conversation is not your cup of tea, you can bow out without too much fuss. If you can contribute, do so. If you are nice and have a smile, the conversation should come around to you. If somebody asks what you do, perfect. If not, that’ OK move on to the next conversation. Notice that at no time did I day for you to bring up what you do. If you have the confidence, the smile you will be asked.

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