4 Ways to Stand Out from the Typical Networking Crowd

Networking events are a great way to build new professional connections, but with so many people interacting with each other, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd.

Making a positive, memorable impression at a networking event can pay off big-time in the long run and it turns out, it doesn’t take much to be memorable. Here are a few things savvy people do to stay top of mind with everyone they come across:

Make It About the Other Person

Too often when we walk into a networking situation, we concentrate on ourselves.
“Do I look good?”
“How should I introduce myself?”
“Will I have anything interesting to say?”

Turns out, everyone else is worried about themselves too. One trick memorable people use to stand out from the crowd is to flip the script: they concentrate on the other person they’re connecting with. They’re genuinely curious about the person they’re chatting with. Let’s be honest: people love to talk about themselves. Being memorable means asking more questions than making statements.

Try this: Consider asking your new connection about their strengths or one of their passion projects. People get excited talking about those things, and when someone feels like they were heard and understood, they will be more likely to remember you.

Put Yourself in a Mindset

Memorable people intentionally decide to use their time to benefit those they meet – this is a benefit to them in the long run because people remember that they put others first.

Try this: Set a goal for how you want to be seen by other people during your networking experience. Here are some examples: “I want to leave every person I speak with feeling energized.” Or “I plan to connect with others by finding a shared interest in each conversation.”

Be Present in the Moment

There’s no doubt that we are always carrying around extra baggage with us throughout our day. Whether we’re thinking about something that happened earlier at work or even just anxious about the situation at hand, it’s not easy to leave that all outside the door. Memorable people do exactly that – leave their issues outside the door. They know that we can only connect when we are present. When we are present we can build on what the other person is saying, empathize, and help them to feel “heard”.

Try this: Leave your worries and concerns outside the door. Forget about being pre-occupied with your own thoughts, anxieties, or objectives. Focus on the moment and the conversation at hand.

Spread the Right Emotions

Did you know that emotions were contagious? Before we even say a word, other people can pick up on our emotions. Memorable people choose to infect others with positive emotions rather negative ones.

Try this: When you show up to the event, show up as your full self.  Come in a good, positive, energetic mood. You’ll be surprised how people will be instantly attracted to your positive energy.

To sum it up, as Maya Angelou so beautifully articulated: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Next time you’re at a networking event, make sure to get the most out of your time and energy by making yourself memorable to all those you meet!

Now that you’ve got the memorable attitude down, get some fool-proof conversation starters to get your new connections chatting all evening. Check out these 23 Tried and True Conversation Starters That Always Work.

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Author Erica Yesko

Erica Yesko is our head of Operations. She believes in the power of culture, talent, and leadership in building viable organizations. She has deep subject matter expertise in organization design, change management, business development, and leadership development. Erica has focused her career on designing scalable organizations, building managed cultures, coaching high-potential leaders, building highly effective teams, and managing change. She also teaches and coaches Leadership Development at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

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