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10 Networking Tips to conduct a successful technical presentation !!

July 17, 2012

Dear Friends,

A good Article about the sustainable relationships.Please read the article about matter of  five minutes in your valuable time.

 

10 essential networking tips

The term “networking” is one of the most overused and often misunderstood terms.  One of the problems with most young engineers trying to network is that they do not grasp the concept that the most valuable form of networking cannot be done without investing in relationships.  This misunderstanding is only further exacerbated by the emergence of social networking, a topic which prompted its own discussion.

The very definition of networking dictates that a network is “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.”  Supportive in the sense that networking is all about building mutually beneficial relationships, from which all parties can derive positive benefit. A classic “scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours” type of an engagement.

So, how you approach networking matters, since it provides the basis of how you might interact with people in your professional life.  The following list provides 10 often ignored tips which provide crucial insights into networking by building sustainable and productive relationships.

1. Never make assumptions

Always approach every networking opportunity with an open mind. In other words, never make assumptions about anyone you meet. The worst thing you can do is to assume that a particular individual is not worth networking with because he/she lacks the characteristics you might be looking for, say a VP of an engineering company.

One of my favorite books, The Tipping Point, provides an interesting analysis of the type of people the author terms as “connectors.”  Connectors, according to the author are those “people with a special gift for bringing the world together.”  So, the casually dressed gentleman you meet at the airport lobby might be a connector with access to several VPs of engineering companies. Share your bagel with him.

2. Relax

Networking is like golf, if you try to hard it shows and you end up playing badly.  If you remember one simple fact, that networking is primarily social and secondarily business, you will be able to network more effectively.  At the end of it all, the more comfortable you are, the more comfortable the person you are talking to will be with you.

3. Listen more than you talk

This goes back to the earlier point about networking being a mutually-beneficial relationship. From the initial meeting, both parties involved should be able to derive meaningful purpose from interacting with each other. So, if you find that you are the one doing most of the talking, and constantly shifting your focus from on candidate to the next, then you are wasting your time.

4. Find a common interest

The goes back to the very definition of networking. In order to cultivate the most beneficial relationship with anyone, it is a good idea to establish early on that you and the other person have common interests or common goals.  If you cannot find any, don’t create them but at least look for commonalities by exploring activities and interests that might have been mentioned in the course of the conversation.

It is usually easy to find a common ground with fellow engineers, be it career, school or the passionate dislike of Biology. However, if after ten minutes you still cannot find a connection, move on.

5. Be impressive:Always make sure you have your business cards

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and realized that at the end of the conversation, you were still did not know anything about the person. This happens because most people’s idea of networking usually involves reciting their skills and objectives to as many people as possible. This type of exercise is not only counterproductive but also negates the desire for anyone to interact with you in the future.

So, how do you capture someone’s attention and leave a positive impact? Simply be yourself and stick to what you know. Networking is all about cultivating potentially beneficial relationships, so rely on your best attributes to impress whoever you are interacting with. Never, under any circumstance, try to bring up topics you are not familiar with in the name being impressive. If you fail at this all-too-common networking tactic, you end up appearing disingenuous and vague. 

6. Make a graceful exit

There is usually an undisclosed time limit when it comes to networking, especially if you are in a networking event. General rule of thumb is, if you start running out of content, it is a good idea to give others a chance to interact as well. However, if you feel that you have something productive to contribute, or you feel that you need to get to know someone better, stick around as long as you are not making the other party uncomfortable. Otherwise, close off by telling the person that you enjoyed meeting. At this point you should have already exchanged contacts.

7. Follow through

This is by far the most crucial part of any networking encounter. It does not make sense to go to a networking event, establish a contact and then never follow through afterwards. The initial follow through should NEVER be an immediate request for a favor. Nothing breaks apart a potential networking relationship than only calling when you need something. Remember, networking is all about cultivating beneficial relationships. Thus said, you have to act fast, before you disappear from memory and build up on the initial meeting. Realize that even at this point you still have to maintain a high level of professionalism, so do this in a proper and professional manner.

A good follow through conversation should basically reiterate key points from earlier discussions and leave an open ticket for future correspondence. Ideally, you should seek a face-to-face meeting, but please do this tactfully.

8. Personal Touch

Since networking is, at its most basic level, the building of mutually beneficial relationships, it is important to nurture those relationships beyond business. This could initially be in the form of subtle communications such as Christmas cards, gift certificates etc.  As the relationship progresses, you can move on to bigger and better things.

9. Harvest the networking benefits

You should never be afraid to utilize your networking contact on anything within the realm of their abilities. Such connections might be in the form of job referrals, introductions or help in furthering a particular business agenda.

When you have established that the individual is the proper resource for the type of connection you are seeking, approach them and articulate your request. If you have nurtured a good relationship, then the rest should be easy.

The most adept networkers know how to convey appreciation for networking favors. If someone has been helpful to you, let them know that you appreciate it.  A simple thank-you card should be sent to the person as quickly as possible.

10. Become a resource for others

When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions. In the continuing nurture of the networking relationship make sure you make your contacts aware of your strong points and how you can help them. Whenever favors are requested of you, act on them quickly.

 

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