10 Tips for Business Networking – Even if You’re an Introvert
Business networking is more than just showing up, shaking hands and collecting business cards. It’s about making real connections with likeminded people.
Most people attend networking events in hopes of getting something from someone they meet. They should focus on giving or helping others first.
How do you view networking? Are you a giver or a getter?
This ESL lesson will improve your English and explore the networking opportunities available to you online or at company events.
1. Do you think the man and woman are colleagues?
2. Whose business card is the man holding?
3. Why is he holding the business card with two hands and not just one?
4. Do you think they’ll shake hands with each other?
5. What does their body language say about them?
Part II: Take the Survey and Talk About It
1. How many professional networks do you belong to?
- 1 or more
2. What alumni groups to you belong to?
- Elementary School
- Middle School
- High School
- Post Secondary
3. How many hours do you spend connecting through online professional networks each week?
- 0-5 hours
- 6-11 hours
- 12-15 hours
- 16-20 hours
- 21 hours +
4. How big is your online business network?
- 50 or more persons
- 250 or more persons
- 500 or more persons
- 750 or more persons
- 1,000 or more persons
5. What actions do you take to grow your online/offline networks?
- Attend social events at hotels or restaurants
- Check in with contacts periodically
- Take someone I’d like to get to get to know out to lunch
- Participate in fund raising or charity events
- Stay in touch by email or social networking
- Speak or participate at business events
6. What benefits have you received because of networking?
- A new job
- A promotion
- A new customer
- A new hire
- Something else
7. What types of “like minded” people are most important for you to connect with in growing your network?
8. In your own words, what is the “real power” of a network?
9. How often do you have a coffee, lunch or dinner with someone new?
10. What will you do to increase the value of your network?
Part III: Share Your Opinions
Discuss the Photo
1. What are they probably drinking?
2. Which of the two men appears more fashionable?
3. Why are they clinking glasses?
Imagine you’ll be attending a networking event this evening with a group of businesspeople from many countries.
Rank the “networking tips” you’ll use for the event from 1-10. Select 1 for the “most effective” tip down to 10 for the “least effective” tip.
Reach consensus with your instructor and peers through discussion.
10 Tips for Networking
- Bring business cards
- Offer to buy someone a drink
- Have your “business pitch” ready
- Think of some interesting conversation starters
- Be first to introduce yourself
- Offer to help someone with their business
- Make notes on business cards you receive
- Always ask for a business card
- Leave the event with at least 2 new contacts
- Have a few drinks to get relaxed