Here’s the thing: I have a personal vendetta against 99% of the networking content on the internet.
Every piece regurgitates the same pointers on perfecting business cards. Every article repeats outdated advice on how to work a room. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to surface real, actionable methods for building relationships. I’ve gathered stories on , uncovered , and more.
But today I’m taking a break from all that. Instead, I’m going to have some fun by featuring just about every tip you’ve already heard.
So if you’re looking to be an old-school networker and bask in some awkward fun while neglecting how social conversations have evolved over the past 10 years … then this 19-step process is for you. Shall we enjoy it together?
Step 1: Research a few people you want to connect with prior to the event.
Step 2: Eat a proper meal to avoid chatting fatigue.
Step 3: Learn big, fancy words to impress people with.
Step 4: Take a moment to boost your self-esteem before working a room.
Step 5: Don’t be afraid to enter the room. You went there to network, after all.
Step 6: Approach someone new and say hello.
Step 7: Give them a firm handshake so they know you mean business.
Step 8: Then employ the buddy system to divide and conquer.
Step 9: Keep your introductions brief and to-the-point.
Step 10: Look really interested even when you have no idea what someone is saying.
Step 11: If that doesn’t work, just sprinkle in pop culture references.
Step 12: If all else fails, say something super inspirational to sound super smart.
Step 13: Just make sure you’re not the jerk on the phone the whole time.
Step 14: Don’t be afraid to admit when a conversation isn’t benefiting you.
Step 15: Know when to end the conversation.
Step 16: Hand out your perfectly polished business cards to stay in touch.
Step 17: Send professionally-written to everyone you meet.
Step 18: If they ignore you, keep following up. Don’t stop until they respond.
Step 19: And of course, dress to impress for post-conference parties.
Tired of all these so-called tips, too?
If you’re looking for modern, effective networking pointers, check out the helpful (and modern) posts below:
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.