Timid about networking? Here’s how to succeed

Enough of cowering against the wall and checking your email during conferences or industry cocktail parties. Dive in and meet people who can boost your career.

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Yikes! Crowds of people! And you’re expected to barge up, glad-hand strangers and shove your business card into their paws.

If this seems intimidating, it’s time to hone your networking skills and make the most of conferences, industry events and other places where you rub elbows with potential contacts.

A new, free Ragan tip sheet, “10 techniques to beef up your networking,” offers tips for networking the smart way. Bonus: You’ll have more fun than you would playing wallflower.

“If a meet-and-greet event makes you jittery, rest assured you are not alone,” says business etiquette consultant Diane Gottsman. “Just remember: Most of the conference attendees are just like you—looking for someone to genuinely connect and have a fruitful conversation with.”

Don’t blab. Listen.

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