How to Improve Your Networking Skills

There will be several opportunities to network with conference attendees and speakers, starting with the networking event at The Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home on Friday night, February 27. Here are a few tips to help you feel more confident and stand out while creating important industry connections.

Research: Do a little background research on the attendees and conference speakers. With communication professionals representing the sports, food, financial services, consumer, healthcare and government sectors, there will be at least one speaker you will be interested in talking to. Become familiar with both the industry and the professional to give you easy conversation starters and help you be able to ask questions that you genuinely want to know the answers to. 

Make eye contact: This seems simple, but if you are nervous, it might be tempting to dart your eyes away during conversation. Eye contact will help you to successfully carry on a conversation while making a meaningful connection with the person.

Dress to impress: Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident while still looking professional. Ladies, do not wear anything too low-cut or too short. Gentlemen, please wear appropriate dress shoes and suit jackets or blazers.

Put your phone away and hand out business cards: If you feel like you are making a genuine connection with someone, do not be afraid to hand out your business card. This will be the easiest way to share your contact information. And don’t spend the entire time texting when you could be using this time to create important connections.

Don’t forget to relax and have fun! While talking to a successful industry professional can be a little intimidating, don’t forget that they are a person just like you! Stay relaxed while remaining professional. Remember to show off a bit of your own unique personality. That will be what makes you memorable from all the rest.

Registration for Marist PRSSA Regional Conference closes on this Friday, February 20. Don’t forget to register today!

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