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Overcome Nerves Networking Function

#
89
Chris Do
Published
July 14, 2018

Chris Do answers a pro member's question about overcoming nerves during a networking event.

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Hello hi, Priscilla. I have a question. Just quickly, I just need to boost my self-confidence a little bit, but I'm going to challenge myself in the next two days and go and attend a tech conference to try to network and. And I'm a little nervous and my headspace isn't there yet. So I wonder if you had some advice. No, I do. You're nervous because you have an outcome you want to have, right? Correct yeah, I want to make contact. Do you want to make contacts? Do what? To get projects and for people to hire you? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. OK so that's nerve wracking. So the whole time while you're talking to people, you're thinking, oh, I want you to hire me, I want you hire me. How do I get your business? Well, I'll try not to. But yes, I know, but that's what happens. Right so that could be very nerve wracking. And if you look at it like that, especially if that's not your thing, obviously, it's not. That's why you're asking this very question. What I would suggest you do is stop thinking about trying to get work from people. Why don't you just get to know people? Why don't you say, what are you here for? Tell me more about your business. What are your challenges? Mm-hmm Right what are your goals? My name is Priscilla. Seems like we have some common interests. Maybe after this conference, we can chat. Let me tell you a little bit about how I help people in this situation just like you. OK, but if and only if there's a natural fit. And then move on. OK usually when you're at a conference like, tell me why you're here, is this the first, you know, what talk did you find interesting? Mm-hmm And I'm scared it's going to get geeky. That's the thing. Well, don't be scared of things that haven't happened yet. OK OK. And it gets really like nerdy. It's like, whoa, I'm so sorry. I don't like you must be very smart because I don't understand any of what you just said. Right? Yeah. Yeah OK. OK Yeah. Just try to relate to people build rapport. OK and don't make this mistake. Don't give people your business card. Get their business card. You're giving them your business card. I don't know who top people this. This is stupid. OK because you don't even want to see I have a Ziploc bag of business cards and it's enormous, you know, those big freezer Ziploc bags? Mm-hmm I have multiple bags of cards. I don't know what to do with people. Hand them to me. I throw them in a bag or whatever. The cards that matter to me, they're sitting on my desk are cards of people I need to get in touch with. So I got their card. And once you do, yeah, you can just say, do you have your do you have a card? I'd like to get in touch with you after this. Mm-hmm And they will either politely say no or yes, and because they don't want you to have their card. And then after you get their card, you can say, here's mine, ok? And if you can figure out a little mnemonic. Some kind of heuristic where you can say something that they'll remember you. Right? what do you do, Priscilla again? Well, trending, OK. So you can say something like, my name is Priscilla. And if you need killa branding, that's I'm your girl. I just make it up as terrible. But you give them something to remember you because they're going to meet hundreds of people. Yeah and then when they're thinking branding Priscilla, branding Priscilla, figure out a way to tie those two together with a funny or quirky thing. Ok? make it memorable. OK OK. And Nicholas, do me a favor. Mute? have a good follow up. I just made it. OK it's fine. I just want to tell you there's another form of bias here, and we'll get to Michael. Another form of bias is this. Rhymes for people feel that they're true or statements, I don't know why. OK, if you snooze, you lose, is that true? I before E except after C and the person I saw do a Ted Talk on this said, that's only true in 2002 instances where there's like 185 where it's not true at all. But we believe that to be true, if it doesn't fit, you must acquit. So think about rhymes, alliteration that helps people to remember. OK, OK, OK. That's it. And I know this is a super weird and awkward, but go out and do it. OK I am actually and thank you for the boost, and I'm actually my friend calls me the FBI because I ask a million questions, so maybe I will once I'm in there. Once you throw yourself in the pool and gets more comfortable. Yeah, I mean, if you ask the right kinds of questions, you don't need to ask that many. Right? so that thing that I showed you that was posted on the feature group posted by Daniel Montgomery. I saw that. Yeah just ask those three or four of those. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah OK. Fantastic Michael, what's up? Thanks you're welcome. So I've it took me a long time. I successfully was able to stop doing this thing that Priscilla just mentioned, where I come at it with an expectation. I come at it with. I'm trying to get a project. Yeah, and instead I'm coming at people like, you know, how can I give you value? I can help you. But I jump to that way too soon. And I don't know. I don't have a strategy for just approaching someone. Saying, like, hey, what's up, friendly, whatever, I can get past that, but how do I get them to say something they're having an issue with so I can start saying, you know, trying to help them figure it out? Just just standing there talking to somebody. How would you normally do it? I don't know. I feel like I feel like I'm too I'm too strong with like, you know, so what are you struggling with? And they're like, I don't know, I'm not going to tell you what I'm struggling with, you know, like, maybe in your case, it would be good if you kind of started it like, oh, you know, I'm struggling really with this, this, this and maybe something that first you open up and maybe they will follow. I guess that's something you can do. I do at the conferences very often when I go to design ones, I just speak to the people about the pains I have and they naturally follow. So you come at it as a vulnerable person and then they say up, OK, that does help. Being vulnerable is very helpful in building rapport. OK that gets to be a point. Like, who's this guy? Why is he telling me all his troubles? What? why do I care? I would just like for you to figure out how to help people, ok? Yeah so in order for you to get to what are you struggling with? What are challenges that you have? Let's just go back to the question. You can ask them, you know, a thing that I like to do is approach people at conferences and ask them, why are you here? Mm-hmm mm-hmm. Maybe it's a good idea. Like why are they? Yeah, OK. Well, and but the thing is, if they turn around and say, how about you, then you could tell them, OK. OK and somebody turns around to ask you that question, it means they're engaged with you already because most people just like talking about themselves. Mm-hmm Just go first. Why are you here? Where did you come from? Like, oh, down the street? OK, interesting. Mm-hmm Is this is your first time at the conference? I do. No, I'm just. Oh, sorry. Yeah yeah, Yeah. Facility not the first one. It's like it's your first time at the conference is mine. Like, what was your favorite talk so far? Did you think of this speaker? Yeah, I'm like, are you in, I'm just dying to know this. What line of work are you in? Right? OK, now I'll tell you something and we're going to wrap the call because I'm already over time here. Let me just double check if I don't, I'm already missing something else. OK, I'm still good on time. All right. I was sitting in the lounge of a restaurant during this weekend, right? And this man is like waving at me. I was like, that cannot be a future audience member. He's just too old in a suit. It just make sense. And that in turn, I'm like waving to me. So I kind of smile back like, I don't know. I don't want to be one of those ones in the commercial where a cute girl is like waving at a guy like me. And turns out she's waving her baby in the booth and he can't see it right. I don't wait back. So then eventually he gets up and walks over to our table like, oh, shoot! Something's going down and he goes down and said, guys, I'm sorry to interrupt your dinner, I'm sure you guys are talking about really fun, cool, amazing things. But back at my table, we were forming a narrative about who you guys were and why you were here. If you can indulge me just a few minutes, I'd like to share with you what we came up with. Then you tell me how far or how close we are. It's like this is interesting. He says, OK, you guys are here because you're a tech startup and you just got funding. And he points to my friend, Olaf, he thinks you're the product guy. And then we all a laugh a little bit. He points to me, is that you're the money guy? You funded this thing. I'm like, OK, the points to the other guy who says, you're the CEO. And we said, you got one of the three, right? And he's like, OK, tell me the truth now. And then we told them he just made up something random. Totally non-threatening, made it fun, goofy, stayed with us for a few minutes, then went back and then told his friends whatever they and they had a good laugh. I think when it's so clear in our mind and agenda, I want something, I want something, we just forget how to relate to other human beings. Mm-hmm Just trust in your Jedi training that you will eventually get to the question. But just don't obsess over that, because then it's like, Oh my god, you have such a strong agenda. And now you're going to be really weird. Mm-hmm And the reality of getting business from attending a function as a networking function is probably very, very low. So don't let that ruin your experience. Just go relate to a few human beings. And through a miracle of god, you might pick up a client. Fantastic but I've done this many, many times and I've gone to many places. I can't tell you one time where I've forgotten a client but have built relationships. I'm sorry, I take that back. I have gotten a client before from networking. Mm-hmm But it just began as a general, just a genuine like, hey, how are you? What are you doing here? That's it. Mm-hmm Right, would you fly in from? Oh, no, I just live down the street. Fantastic do you go to these conferences as much as my first time here? Tell me more about the line of work you're in. Oh, that's so interesting. I know nothing about that. How are you guys doing? Fantastic OK. Then you get into it. Mm-hmm OK Yep. You got this. I'm psyched. Now you have little kids, right? Or you have children? Yeah, Yeah. If you can handle children, you can handle a networking function, I promise you.

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