3 Ways to Network with Ease this Holiday Season

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The holiday season is approaching us, which means there will be plenty of mixers and networking events that local organizations will be hosting. As such, it’s important to know how to navigate these events effectively while still having a good time. Sometimes it’s as easy as being the most memorable person in the room.


Break the Ice

Instead of coming to a networking event with your traditional elevator pitch, switch things up a little bit. More likely than not, there will be awkward moments of silence in the group you’re standing or sitting around with. Use this time to introduce an icebreaker to the conversation. Ask the people around you what their most recent success was, for example. People love talking about themselves. This is a great way to celebrate what someone has done and it will give you something meaningful to remember for when you follow up with them later. (Because you WILL follow up with them, right?) You’re giving them the gift of being celebrated.

Wear a Statement Piece

Whether it’s a fabulous hairstyle, lipstick that pops, a pendant or stunning heels, statement pieces always grab attention. They’re great conversation starters, too! For me, it’s always my hair. You’d be surprised at the types of conversations that emerge from one compliment on a twist-out. In a room filled with suits and ties, you can stand out as the woman with pizazz. If you choose to wear a pendant, make sure it has some significance so it provides for a quick story on its history. Maybe you’re a Mary Kay Consultant; maybe you’re a member of a sorority. Whatever the case, having something that stands out will help people remember you long after the event is over.

Come Bearing Gifts

You can be the hero of the party if you’re the person who has mints, gum or chocolate to share with the crowd. Perhaps go the extra mile and put these items in a tiny package with your business card inserted into it. It will be a great party favor and a way for people to remember you. A win-win! Of course, if you or a friend sells tasty treats, you could always slip some samples in this package as well! Instead of coming to the event to take away information and resources, be the one who gives! And you never know–maybe someone will invite you to sell your items at the next networking event!

If you put one or all of these tips into practice, you’ll feel a lot more at ease at your next holiday party!

What tips would you add to the list? Let us know by leaving a comment.

 

 

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith is passionate about connecting marginalized populations to resources that position them for success. As a business counselor at the Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia, she equips aspiring business owners with the tools they need to become economically empowered through entrepreneurship. She teaches monthly business startup classes and conducts daily counseling sessions to meet the individual needs of her clients.

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