[Image by Gerd Altmann of Pixabay]

A critical aspect of conducting business has been and always will be networking with other professionals. That may cause you to gasp or possibly break out in a cold sweat…but I certainly hope not.

It used to be that as uncomfortable as some of us were when networking in-person, we realized it was one of those  necessary evils we just had to do.  As a result, we found ourselves networking with others and may have frequented certain events.

Enter the current COVID-19 pandemic and what has that done to traditional networking? Well here are twelve observations you may want to consider and then share them with your team or colleagues:

  1. Networking can be successfully accomplished virtually.
  2. Because of the virtual aspect of networking, we can extend our reach to anyone, anywhere. In other words, we can now be global, if we so choose.
  3. It’s wise to be sensitive to time zone differences, in instances where that applies.
  4. Digital networking requires that we be well-prepared in our business goals.
  5. It’s recommended that you determine your intentions beforehand and write them out if that’s useful.
  6. When opting to network digitally it’s advisable to always have a contingency plan should you have connectivity issues with your platform.
  7. When we network virtually, we’re more prone to distractions and therefore we want to strive to eliminate or at least reduce environmental distractions, in order to stay focused.
  8. Know the best eye placement for you to use and practice where to look.
  9. Adjust the height of your computer in order to afford you optimal interaction with your audience.
  10. Lighting is a key element, so you may wish to experiment with what works best in your particular situation.
  11. Ensure your audio capability is not muted when it’s your turn to speak.
  12. Be creative with your networking efforts and try out several different options (e.g. social media, video emails, podcasting).  See what results you get and always work to stand out.

Networking is one of those skills that definitely expanded with this pandemic and consequently has become increasingly more prevalent.  Yes, some of the rules have indeed changed but for the most part networking skills remain unchanged.

If you find networking to be a daunting experience, we should talk.  I can help you sort this out and use digitization to your advantage.  You can easily reach me by calling 518-664-6004 or emailing me at dale@profitablespeech.com

I’m always happy to help you by adding networking to your list of communication tools.