Yes, but we can ALL improve.

With most things in life – sport, DIY, playing a musical instrument, art, dancing. etc – some people just seem to naturally pick things up well. We’re all good at some things, but find others a challenge. Networking is exactly the same!

Over the years I’ve seen lots of ‘natural networkers’ and you’ll have seen them too. These are people who like chatting with others, including not just their friends but also people they’re meeting for the very first time. They look relaxed and smile and laugh. They’re naturally interested in others and their fellow networking delegates inevitably move towards them.

If that’s not you, fear not. Because just like sport, DIY, music, etc, you can get better. And here’s how to do it.

First of all, it’s ok to admit that networking doesn’t come naturally to you and that you get a bit nervous. That’s ok! But if you want/have to do it and would like to get better, observe the natural networkers and learn from them. If they’re smiling and laughing, try to smile more and laugh more. If they’re asking questions and listening hard, do the same. Don’t stop being you. Just try to gradually introduce some of their behaviours.

If you commit to becoming a better networker, through observing, speaking with other networkers, asking them questions, reading Top Tips, practising (ie, continuing to attend events!) and ideally, attending some networking skills training, you’ll slowly but surely move from a nervous networker not to a natural networker, but to a more relaxed, comfortable and confident networker.

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