How to Make Networking Events... Not Suck

in dlive •  17 days ago

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Hi Friends!

Because I'm an extrovert... people tend to think that i'm totally comfortable at networking events. Honestly, they make me really uncomfortable. It's hard for me to feel like the interactions aren't forced.

One of my best friends is the president of a local "Young Professionals" networking organization, and always asks me to come to different events. Generally, I avoid them like the plague.

I recently had a mindset shift though, which has actually made networking events meaningful and enjoyable. I give a few of my thoughts in this video - but the main shift I have had is treating these events like a string of "Curiosity conversations". The problem with most networking events is that people spend all of their time trying to impress others.

The truth is... people remember the honest, real and raw conversations the had - not who impressed them the most with their resume.

I hope you guys enjoy this vlog and find it helpful! I'd love to hear your thoughts on networking events and whether you've tried adopting this type of mindset. Do you think events like this can be helpful or enjoyable?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

XO, Lea

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My video is at DLive

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Networking has always been difficult for me but I know that it’s important to make connections to move up the line

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Totally how I feel too. Glad i'm not alone! haha

It has been a while but I used to be really good at it. Basically, all I would do is completely trust that I would meet the people I was supposed to meet. Then follow my intuition on who to talk to, or talk to the most interesting. But I completely agree that I would always really be interested in them, it becomes really easy to see who is authentic and who isn't. The only problem I would run into is when the conversation went flat, I'm such a nice guy that I found it hard to leave it so I would just excuse myself to the bathroom and then find someone new. I should probably shake off the rust and get back out there...eventually

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mmmm I totally relate to your last comment!! I am horrible at exiting conversations like that! Going to the bathroom is a great idea. hahah

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Haha, same goes for me too :-)

Some unsolicited feedback as a long-time fan...

I've noticed an increase in the editing to make new segments per each statement (roughly). I'm guessing that the goal is to shorten length and keep things catchy. Just food for thought that it gets a little choppy for me personally to make it a bit harder to stay in the flow of your messages.

Everything still comes across great. I'm just mentioning that from my tiny perspective the videos are a little harder to follow as comfortably as they have been in the past.

Do you though. I'm sure this is what is best practice for vlogging and I'm outdated.

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Thanks for taking the time to give me your feedback. This newer "hyper" edited video is a new style i've been trying on for size... and so I'm really grateful to get some feedback. You hit it on the head - i'm trying to accomplish a couple things with this:

  1. Shorten the overall length ( I can talk for a looong time)
  2. Up the entertainment factor and keep people more engaged
  3. Improve the overall feel of production quality.

A lot of youtuber's that I like seem to have this style... but I think your right that it takes away from the flow and maybe the overall feeling of connection. I'll continue playing around with my style until I really find my groove. Any and all feedback is super appreciated. Most people will just think something and I appreciate that you took the time to tell me!

As a small business owner who helps out other local small business owners with my photo services, I find that networking can be beneficial to me but you are right, I can't go to these meeting with the mindset that I am looking for new business. I go to Chamber of Commerce mixers for the free drinks and food, lol, and naturally I end up having a great time meeting and getting to know other locals. They can be a lot of fun if you are there to have a good time and not worry about passing out business cards. Yet sometimes, business relationships do happen.

I also go to a weekly networking meeting that is more focused on teaching each other about our businesses so we can all help each other try and find new customers and clients for each other. I really don't need any new clients at this point but I keep going because there are some ridiculously funny people there that make it a ton of fun, even though it is at 7am. We are also encouraged to have one-on-one meeting with each other and that is where the real magic happens. Getting to hang out with new people away from the meetings has led to some genuine and awesome friendships. Coffee and lunch meetings do happen but I've also gone snowboarding, mountain biking, fishing, backpacking and more with members. When those kind of great times happen and genuine friendships are made, it's more natural to want to help each other out.

There's always those types of people though that try to sell to everyone at the mixers and meetings and in my opinion, they are wasting their time. Nobody likes to feel that kind of weird pressure.

Great topic Lea, cheers!

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Awesome to hear about the friendships you've built and cool people that you get to interact with through these types of events. Maybe I just haven't plugged into the right group to yet to have this kind of experience.

Most of the networking events I have been to, end up feeling too salesy. Thanks for offering a different perspective! I know my friend that is the president of that young professional group (actually through the chamber) has made a lot of close friends through the organization - so maybe I should I should give it another shot. :)

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Happy to share my 2 cents! I think you are definitely on the right track to making networking more fun and helpful by directing the conversations away from business to a more "real and raw" conversation. Hopefully you have a great time if you do give it another shot!

Yeah, it is true to deal with networking is not the easy way..
When we do something related networking some people think we at top level to deal with networking which naturally make feel us uncomfortable..
Because we are not actually at that level..

Yeah i know these Situation. In germany very common in bigger companies. When someone notice you are just an intern they drop the conversation even though IT started interesting.

What are these events about? Connecting entrepreneurs?

Yea I totally relate here.. I'm a pretty outgoing person, but normally, just hearing the word "networking" makes me cringe. I'm just not very into small talk, but as you say, changing your mindset about stuff like this really helps.

Just because I'm not into "networking" or what I think "networking" entails, it doesn't mean that I can't connect with someone at a "networking" event.

I've been to quite a few Steemit meet ups since being more active on the platform, and although I never feel like they are "networking" events, because I've always preferred to see them as an opportunity to connect with other Steemians and make more friends, they are still, in a way, a networking event. And lots of fun too :)

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