The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

How to handle uncomfortable business networking events

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose.  I am a speaker and author.  I am an expert in time and project management.

I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.  I have a knack for turning big ideas into on time and profitable projects.

At the end of the day, I give people peace of mind.
Today’s question came from a busy professional interested in freeing some time and space to advance in his career.

We all understand the importance and value of business networking. How do we handle networking events in a proper and professional manner?

One of the best ways to break the ice at a networking event is to pretend or put on the persona of a host.  Focus your attention on “your guests”.  Put the spotlight onto them.  Allow them to shine and talk about themselves.  Most people are there to talk about themselves, anyway – why to against the flow?

  1. Ask them questions about “What brought them here tonight?” “What are they hoping to gain or what are their goals for this meeting?”
  2. If they share that they are looking for referrals on XYZ or people that they can work with on ABC – connect them to someone that you just met at the same meeting that shares those goals.
  3. Don’t stay too long with any one person.  Like a host, make sure you mingle.  You can say “I know you want to meet more people, and I want to respect your time.  I would love to stay in contact, why don’t we exchange contact information and make plans to call each other on Thursday.   How does that sound?”

If you really want to stay in contact, take out your calendar and then move on.

But what if you are shy or is an introvert?  Are there any other special tips for us?

Normally what makes shy people uncomfortable is having the spotlight shined on ourselves.  So – much like the above advice, shine the spotlight on other people.  Instead of worrying about what other people think about you – focus on learning more about the other person.  People love to talk about themselves and it takes the pressure off you to carry the entire conversation.

Also, look around to see if anyone is sitting alone or hiding in the corner (make sure it’s not you doing the hiding as well).  Then go up and visit them.  They may be feeling uncomfortable, so be a good host and go up and introduce them to some other folks.

For additional articles and videos on tips for introverts, check out these artifacts:


I know your situation is different. Why don’t we schedule an appointment, where I get to know more about your unique situation? And then I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward.  To schedule an appointment, book it HERE.

With enough notice, it would be my honor to guest-speak at no cost to your group organization.

I have a monthly presentation on “how to say YES to everything but on your own terms”.  To sign up for the complimentary course, go to


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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