As someone with social anxiety, going to a business networking event is something that sounds terrifying if not downright awful. Yet, these types of events can be very beneficial for business professionals.
Making small talk can seem so effortless for other people. Yet, it could be something that you need to work up to.
Did you know that there are ways you can calm your social anxiety at any business networking event so that you too can be successful? It is going to take a bit of practice but you’ll be making small talk over a glass of wine in no time.
Keep reading for our guide on how to keep calm during networking events so you can strive.
Prepare Questions and Answers
You’ve already made the commitment to attend a business networking event and you’re getting a little nervous about it. One way to calm your nerves and social anxiety is to prepare as much as you can before you even step foot into one of the networking events.
Make a list of questions that you think people will ask you and try to answer them. If you have answers prepared, then you will feel more confident when networking with people at the event.
Secondly, make a list of questions that you want to ask other people at the event. This way when there is a lull in the conversation you can go ahead and fill it with one of your questions.
When you prepare beforehand, then it won’t be so awkward and you will have a grasp on the conversation. This has helped tons of people when dealing with their social anxiety because they’re ready for the conversations to come.
Give Yourself Some Goals
Along with preparing for an event, you should also create a list of goals that you want to accomplish during the event. There are plenty of different types of goals that you can set for yourself when attending events to network.
You could set goals to hand out a certain amount of business cards, talk to a specific amount of people, or even persuade someone of a new idea that you have.
When you set specific goals for yourself before going to a networking event, then you won’t spend half the night wandering around aimlessly. Having a plan can help your anxiety at events because you will have a clear mindset of what you need to do.
Ignore Your Phone
First impressions are important, especially at business networking events. You don’t want to be known as the person with their phone in front of their face all night.
You might think that having your phone as a crutch is going to help with your social anxiety, but instead, it is going to be a distraction.
If you look like you’re engaged and willing to participate in conversations, then more people will be willing to come up and chat with you. Be sure to look open and friendly to talk.
People at networking events are going to notice if you’re focused on the conversation at hand or if you would rather be in the corner on your phone. Make sure to make eye contact and listen to the conversation at hand so ditch the phone.
Remember Names of New Business Connections
It is going to be a long night but another way to make a good first impression is to remember the names of the people that you meet. When you’re first meeting and talking to a stranger at an event be sure to shake their hand and ask them for their name.
If you have social anxiety, then starting a conversation with a stranger is something that you’re dreading when going to these events. Asking someone their name is one of the easiest ways to open communication with them.
Plus, you can use their name during the conversation to help form a connection with them. If you see them later on in the evening, then be sure to remember their name and use their name in passing! They will be glad that you took the time to remember what their name was.
Don’t Think About Your Social Anxiety
As a person with social anxiety, it is obvious that you’re going to be nervous or anxious when attending networking events. One of the best ways to calm yourself down is redirecting your thoughts onto something else instead of thinking about how anxious you are.
Negative thoughts can put a damper on your entire night. If you tell yourself how anxious or awkward you are, then chances are you’re going to be anxious and awkward.
Instead, try not to doubt yourself. The phrase “fake it until you make it,” can go a long way when it comes to having self-confidence.
Try to picture yourself nailing the small talk and making tons of business connections.
Conquer Your Fears One by One
Staying calm and conquering your social anxiety at business networking events is going to be difficult. This is why you need to take each fear step by step.
Your first fear could be going to one of the networking groups and events in general. Be sure to celebrate each fear that you conquer of the day.
When you’re an entrepreneur you need to step out of your comfort zone all the time. So be sure to do something new at each business networking event. Whether it is talking to a new person, asking a new question, or doing a new activity.
Try to do things that you’re uncomfortable doing because eventually, you will get better at doing them. Doing the things that make you feel anxious at networking events will help you to be less anxious at the next networking event!
You’ll be proud of yourself each time you took a step out of your comfort zone and made a new connection.
Staying Calm at Business Networking Events
There are tons of different tips and tricks you can use to stay calm at business networking events. It might take a bit of practice and time to learn to calm your social anxiety but after a while, you’ll be chatting and making small talk with everybody.
If you’re looking to make connections, then be sure to keep putting yourself out there. Business networking events are awesome ways to make relationships that can last a lifetime.
One of the best ways to connect with more people is through our website! By signing up today you will have the ability to share local events, create groups, as well as develop more business relationships to help further your career.