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How to be more confident at networking events

Five hot tips to make networking events more enjoyable

Read in 3 minutes

By Ben Robson

Co-founder, GOAT

How to be more confident at networking events: make networking more enjoyable

1. Focus on your body language

Body language plays a huge role in how other people perceive you and the success of your interactions with them.

Next time you’re at a networking event, increase how confident you feel and come across to others, by putting your shoulders back, having a wide stance and keeping everything uncrossed (so no folding your arms, or using closed gestures while you speak or listen).

Try mirroring the other person’s gestures too. This is known to be a shortcut to building bonds and trust with others – as on a subconscious level, they feel more comfortable in the presence of someone ‘similar ‘ to them. Read more about the fascinating topic of mirroring.

You’ll be amazed how much more confident you feel when you’re not showing negative posture signals. Give it a try!

2. Cut out the ums and errs

When you’re err explaining um what your business is err about, it’s important to sound like um you know err what you’re talking about if err you want um to be taken seriously.

Ums and errs are incredibly distracting for those listening to you and make it sound like you have doubts about what you’re saying.

Next time you’re speaking to someone, make a conscious effort to avoid ums and errs. Take a breath instead, pause, and then continue what you’re saying. You will sound more knowledgeable and people will take more notice of what you’re saying as a result.

3. Explain your business in one sentence

If you can’t explain what your business does in one sentence, or 30 seconds – then you don’t understand it yourself. It’s amazing how quickly someone will drift onto another thought if the person they’re talking to can’t get their point across.

Practise your 30 second pitch until you have it nailed and never use jargon to explain yourself. You’ll find the interactions you have at networking events are far more fruitful and enjoyable when you cut to the chase.

4. Maintain eye contact

We don’t mean staring at someone until you creep them out, but maintaining eye contact when you talk conveys that you’re assured in what you’re saying.

Good eye contact is also polite – avoiding looking like your gaze is flitting around the room looking for someone else to talk to.

5. Greet someone with a smile

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so do it with a smile.

A smile makes others feel more relaxed in your presence and can even alter their mood. Make sure your smile is genuine, builds slowly and smile from your eyes too. You’ll be the most approachable member of any networking event, in no time at all!

What other tips would you give for how to be more confident at networking events? Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment below – we love getting your opinions and questions.

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Thanks for reading.