5 Networking Tips To Help You Become More Social Offline

There are many ways to grow your business or learn more about the opportunities a new career may offer outside of your digital social platforms. A great starting point is to attend any number of networking events in your area—usually free of charge—that bring people from the workforce together to mingle in an informal environment.

Attendees can discuss their careers, seek out new clients or meet potential employers. Although most of these events are designed to be carefree, they can still be intimidating for people who don’t always thrive in social situations-- yes, we mean off of the computer. If this is you, relax!

We’ve gathered some great tips that will help ease your anxiety when attending a networking event.

Find common ground. Talking about something that you have no interest in is tough. Engaging in a conversation about your hobbies is a breeze. Try to find a commonality between you and the person you’re talking. The conversation will feel less forced and you may even make a new friend.

Be empathetic. You’re all in the same boat. Take comfort in knowing that others are equally as nervous as you are.

Talk to someone who isn’t talking to anyone. Infiltrating a group, even if it’s a group of two, is intimidating. Make things easier on yourself by sparking up a conversation with someone who is also alone.

Relax and take a deep breath. Guess what? You’re not the only person who is nervous about initiating a conversation with a stranger. Taking a moment to breath can help you come to this conclusion early on in the evening and feel better about interacting with strangers.

Have a plan. Walking into a networking event with a plan can reduce anxiety. Try selecting who you’d like to talk to in advanced to eliminate wandering aimlessly until you find someone to converse with.

Now that you’re armed with these awesome tips, get out there and start networking!

E'vone Starkstips, business-tips