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It Always Seemed Impossible At First But These Will Build You A Wide And Professional Network

It Always Seemed Impossible At First But These Will Build You A Wide And Professional Network

Most people think that a professional network is only needed when job-hunting. Maintaining a professional network throughout your career is a necessary and important task that need not be difficult. A strong, professional network builds confidence and could prove to be a valuable safety net should you get laid off or fired. A recent article in Forbes Magazine reported that most of us search for jobs every eight years. That is a big incentive to growing a professional network.

Learn how to manage and boost your professional network with the following tips.

1. Maintain Visibility

People have to know who you are in order to recommend you and your available products and services. The key here is to stay visible, without becoming a nuisance. Develop an eye-catching business card and get to know the people around you, especially the people you work for and with.

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    2. Build Relationships

    It is essential to get to know the people in your network. Get in touch every five weeks or so for a coffee or light lunch. If you have the opportunity to boost their career, by all means do it. They are sure to return to favor for you at a later time. Be willing to be a professional reference.

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      3. Use LinkedIn

      This is a no brainer. LinkedIn is free to join, and there are hundreds of groups available to boost your professional networking. Get to know people. When you and they are comfortable enough, exchange recommendations. This network builds your credibility in a number of ways and is well worth the time and effort.

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        4. Join Professional Organizations

        Get to know colleagues in your profession. These are the best people to keep you informed on what is changing in your profession and how to adapt. Joining may not be free, however a professional organization is one of the easiest ways to stay and get connected professionally.

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          5. Go Beyond Your Industry

          Cultivate professional networks outside of your industry. This is a great way to boost your network and meet new people. Networking with those outside of your industry can give you a fresh perspective on your professional development.

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            6. Find Connections

            Seek out people who have been in your industry for longer than you have. Consider their advice and learn from their experience. It absolutely matters who you know. Surround yourself with people who support your career as you support them in theirs.

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              7. Build, Build, Build

              Building relationships is integral to maintaining and boosting your professional network. Be personable and share your experiences with the people in your professional network. Be the person that others first think of for a solution, a bit of advice, or a warm welcome.

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                8. Host An Event

                The event you choose to host need not be large or elaborate. In fact, you may want to consider hosting a series of two or three smaller events, so as to include everyone. Host a dessert party, a wine tasting, or simply serve simple appetizers. In any case, everyone will be relaxed and have the opportunity to get to know you.

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                  9. Volunteer

                  Giving to others is a fantastic way to stay visible while building your professional network. The effort need not be elaborate or time-consuming. Consider an hour a week or a month to give back to the very community in which you are building your career and your reputation.

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                    10. Follow-Up

                    Always stay connected to your professional network through staying in touch. Strengthen attachments thorough listening to others in your network. Don’t ask for a series of favors, rather ask how you can be of help to the other person. In this way relationships are indelibly strengthened and maintained.

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                    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

                    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

                    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

                    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

                    1. Connecting them with each other

                    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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                    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

                    2. Connect with their emotions

                    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

                    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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                    3. Keep going back to the beginning

                    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

                    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

                    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

                    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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                    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

                    5. Entertain them

                    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

                    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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                    6. Appeal to loyalty

                    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

                    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

                    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

                    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

                    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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