If you're not a social butterfly, networking solo can feel like a job interview. Regardless of what kind of networking event you attend, you have to dress to attract the "right" kind of attention, know how to answer and ask the right questions and have a bomb "about me" pitch.
And while that all sounds good, putting this into effect may be harder to do. So what are some key tips to networking?
Dress Your Best
You move differently when you feel like you're looking good. And whether we like it or not, the way we dress and carry ourselves sends a subconscious message to those around us. Dressing your best isn't about looking like someone else, it's about looking like your higher self, to present as your higher self. Whether it's making sure your hair is in a hairstyle that will stay in tact all night or wearing your favorite dress, put your best foot forward in fashion.
Get Clear On Your Networking Goals
Why are you networking? What's your career or job goal? Who's attending the event that you really want to see? What questions do you want to ask about the topic of discussion? When you're clear on your "why," you have a clear compass on what you need to do to achieve your networking goal.
Have An Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a brief synopsis of who you are, what you do, what your goal is and why you're there. Your pitch should be tailored to where you are. If you're attending a creative/entrepreneurial event, then talking about a technical job isn't going to strike a chord with other attendees – but that side project you've been working on after work will. What's always a good throw-in for networking events is where you're from. This can spark a conversation, especially if you are somewhere away from home. Practice your pitch ahead of networking to assure you're not talking too fast or too low.
Talk To The Person Next To You
How often have you gone to a panel event or conference where there was a guest speaker, and made the speaker your only agenda in hopes of landing a connection? Now how often has this turned out to be a failed 30-second convo? Sometimes the biggest connection you can make is the one with the person (or people) closest to you. Strike up a conversation about how the event is going or something interesting the speaker said or even where to get good food in the area. You never know who you're sitting next to and how a relationship can evolve. And if you see someone who's alone, take their oneness as an open window to connect with them too!
The most important thing is to be yourself. You want to build genuine connections with people who will get you, so why not bring your true self to the forefront to begin with? Give your input and opinion in conversations when you feel like it without the fear of worrying what people will think about what you said.
Everyone will not resonate with you, but by putting yourself out there you'll find at least one person you can vibe with for the night.
Remember The Names of People You’re Talking To
Whether you have to write it in your phone notes or say it every time you talk to them, don't forget names! Remembering someone's name does two things: 1) It helps you to get more personal and comfortable talking to the person and vice versa 2) It can help you stay focused on the conversation or to strike up one again when you walk away.
Exchange Contact Information
Don't strike up an interesting convo with someone and walk away thinking you'll see them later only to find they left shortly after your chat. Exchange information! Business cards aren't outdated just yet. Make sure to have yours handy and if the person doesn't have one, ask for their contact information and the best way to follow up with them. Some people are more active on LinkedIn than email, so this may be helpful to know.
Look For Future Events Hosted By The Organizer
If you signed up for an event with an organization via email, then you'll more than likely be notified of their future events and may even run into the same people again. Get familiar with the event organizers. It may even be helpful to connect with them to learn of similar networking opportunities, and ways you can be involved with their organization to grow in community on a deeper level.
Once you make your connections, follow up with them post the event 24-48 hours after meeting them. Don't send a generic email either, make sure to include a personalized touch to your message that connects with something you discussed. A sure way to keep the conversation going is to offer help or share an article on something related to what you talked about.
Featured image by Getty Images
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- Tips on attending your first networking event alone - Tech Girl Rising ›
- 6 Tips on How to Network for Introverts - The Muse ›
- 5 Networking Tips for Introverts | HuffPost ›
- 17 Tips To Survive Your Next Networking Event ›
- Tips For Success: Attending A Networking Event Alone | TalentEgg ... ›
- Stop feeling awkward, nervous, and lonely at networking events ›
- 15 Useful Tips for Attending an Event Alone (And Actually Enjoying It) ›
- 15 Ways To Overcome Awkwardness At Networking Events ›
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports