Top 10 Speed Networking Tips + Tricks

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Speed networking is taking the business world by storm—and for good reason. You meet more people, you don’t get stuck talking to the wrong person, and you maximize your time talking to like-minded professionals.

But attending a speed networking event isn’t the same as attending a traditional networking event. It requires a different mindset and a different approach. And even though networking—no matter what format—can be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Coming prepared, with best practices in mind, can help ease your nerves so you can focus on creating meaningful connections.

Here are ten speed networking tips + tricks to ensure success:

1. Practice a firm handshake.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression and that all starts with a handshake. There’s nothing worse than shaking hands with what feels like limp noodles. Your handshake should be firm… but not “too” firm, it can come across as a sign of over-dominance. Finding the balance is key. Practice with family or friends to ensure you’re getting it right.
2. Prepare an elevator speech.
Preparing a quick, concise elevator speech is key to successfully speed networking. Afterall, it’s called speed networking for a reason. In this case, an elevator speech should answer who you are, what you do, and why you’re attending the event in 30 seconds or less.
3. Look at your schedule ahead of time.
One of the best parts about speed networking is your personalized schedule. Pre-select the types of people you’re interested in meeting, learn about people’s’ background ahead of time and think of some questions you want to ask them.
4. Come with the correct materials.
This includes a pen, paper to take notes, and business cards at the very least. Taking notes is a good way to ensure you’re able to retain information. Plus, you’ll be able to send much more personalized follow-up emails.
5. Dress to impress.
6. Be a resource first.
7. Ask questions.
8. Have a networking-related goal in mind.
9. Be yourself.
10. Follow up.
We cannot stress the importance of following up after attending a speed networking event enough. Because your time together is so short, it’s key to follow up in order to keep the conversation going. Send a thank you email, add them on LinkedIn, or send them a handwritten note.

So, there you have it – 10 speed networking tips and tricks to get you on your way to networking glory in no time.

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