Whether you’re applying to your ideal school, looking for a new career, starting your own business, or simply meeting new people at a work event, networking can assist.

However, unless you’re a social butterfly, networking isn’t something that comes naturally to you.

We’ll provide you the 9 best networking techniques in this article to help you expand your professional and personal network!

1. Dress with intention

The idea of “dressing to impress” isn’t new. According to research on first impressions, physical appearance plays a significant role in nonverbal communication. To put it another way, most people will judge whether or not they like you before you even say anything.

So, whether dressing for an event (whether professional, such as a conference, or social, such as a house party), consider how you want to be regarded.

Are you looking for a welcoming but professional atmosphere? Or perhaps approachable and entertaining? Whatever it is, be sure you’re dressed appropriately.

2. Visualize the outcome

After you’ve decided on your appearance, take a few moments to consider your networking goals. Setting your goals and intents is a big part of this.

3. Smile and wave

Waving is, of course, optional, but smiling is required—it goes hand in hand with nonverbal communication. After all, no one wants to chat to someone who appears irritated or furious.

A reassuring grin when you make eye contact, on the other hand, is the simplest approach to get people to talk to you because it signals that you are willing to engage in conversation.

4. Be aware of your body language

Your body language, like your facial emotions, can make you appear friendly, but it can also make you appear cranky or anti-social.

If you go around slumped over with your arms folded across your chest, for example, most people will assume you aren’t interested in communicating. So, even if they want to network with you, they may be hesitant to approach you.

5. Prepare a safety net

Let’s say your body language and smile when you make eye contact with others don’t help you network effectively. It’s time to take action.

So, rather of improvising ways to strike up a discussion with other guests on the spur of the moment, make a list of conversation starters ahead of time.

6. Talk about their favorite subject

Instead of just blabbering about the random topics, make a list of the topics that interests them the most. Talking on the topic that interests them the most will be beneficial for you. They will take equal part in your conversation and will be interested to know more.

7. Ask open-ended questions

Avoid asking yes or no questions throughout a conversation. They might make the interaction feel very dry or bring it to a standstill.

8. Listen actively

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The truth is, nodding every now and then isn’t going to keep your discussion partner interested. If they’re sharing something, follow up with inquiries to get more information. Inquire about a topic if they seem particularly enthusiastic about it.

The difference between hearing and understanding is active listening. While everyone enjoys being heard, being understood is even better. If you get this properly, your networking skills will develop instantly.