Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #26 - Always Be Yourself (Consistently)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Networking Event Tip #26 - Always Be Yourself (Consistently)

A key to successful business networking is to be the "real" you and to always bring that same person to networking events. Each of us can change, grow, and develop, so we don't have to remain in the same position or rut, but at the same time our individuality remains.

The second worst tactic you can use when going to networking events is to consistently play a role that's clearly not you. If in real life you're a fairly quiet, sensitive, thoughtful person but when you go to networking events you come on like a honky-tonk barker, you won't give other folks at the event a chance to see you at your best. If people who already know you in your "normal" self see you acting like a completely different person in public events, you could very well confuse and easily annoy them. For that reason alone you should be genuine, for the last thing you want to do is alienate your established relationships.

Another reason presenting a consistent "off" face is a bad idea is that it can be exhausting - if you have to work hard to maintain a posed persona, not only will it come across somehow odd, no matter how good an actor you are, it will also wear you out.

The very worst you can do at networking events, at least regarding how you present yourself, is to be wildly inconsistent. If you show up one month quiet and straight-laced, like a screaming head banger the next, and then follow up acting like a fully poised national stage level speaker, you'll throw people off to the point that they won't buy your "act" at all. Better to be a consistent poser than an inconsistent idiot.

So be real, bring your own self, have fun, and help people - that's all it really takes.

Networking Event Tip #26 - Always Be Yourself (Consistently)

This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion

If you know want to know about upcoming business networking events in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC], check out David Merrill's Networking Event Calendar . And if you know of or are planning a networking event you'd like included in the calendar, e-mail David at