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Having fears about business networking isn’t just normal, it’s more wide-spread that you might imagine!

Research shows 1 in 4 people feel so uncomfortable about these situations that they avoid them like the plague. And another estimated 50%, called ambiverts (people who osculate between being introvert and extrovert), admit to experiencing varying degrees of networking butterflies depending on the seniority of people likely to attend an event or how high stakes they think an occasion is.

Yuk, especially since it’s hard to get on in any business or career if you can’t embrace networking. In fact, as the CEO of Campbell Soup Denise Morrison puts it: “Networking is working”

She’s right and here’s just a small selection of why that’s true:

  • 95% of leaders argue that in person meetings are essential to stronger and more meaningful business relationships (Forbes)
  • The majority (80%) of marketers believe live events are critical to their success (Bizzabo)
  • 70% to 80% of all jobs are found through networking (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

And yet, per Greg McKeown in the Harvard Business Review, 99% of networking is a waste of time!

“Say what? Hold the canapes and where’s the exit?” I hear you say! What’s he talking about?

Avoid Wasting Anyone’s Time (Yours Included) at Business Networking Events

Essentially this. If you just share platitudes or information people could have gotten elsewhere at events and/or engage in drive by ‘networking conversations’ and foisting business cards on all and sundry, nothing of substance happens and the whole thing will be a bust for all!

However, here’s what leaders do want and will love: They are hungry for real conversations and real relationships.

Aha!

And achieving the latter is the topic addressed in my expert interview with keynote speaker, author of The Unnatural Networker and National Director of BNI in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Charlie Lawson – when we delve into how storytelling can help you to boost your networking confidence and results.

How Using Stories Can Transform Your Business Networking Impact

Lean in as we discuss:

  • What networking is really about and why getting past comfort zone issues and fears is worth it
  • What you can learn from a travel agent who went the extra mile to look after a honeymooner
  • Why you don’t want to be a hit and run merchant at events
  • How finding personal impact from seemingly dull topics can ignite your networking results
  • One thing you should do to boost your first impression and long term effect on those you meet
  • And more

Like Help to Ignite Your Business Storytelling Impact?

If you’d like help to master the art of high impact corporate storytelling, contact me at eobrien@thersc.ie – I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Photo credit: Pal-Kristian Hamre