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Speed Networking Tips

Tips for Participating in Speed Networking Events

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Speed Networking Tips Copyright Getty Images Leukos
Speed networking is like speed dating for professionals. It evolved from the speed dating model of meeting a lot of people in a short amount of time. Speed networking is a structured process for facilitating introductions and conversation between people who don't know each other.

The model is often employed at events for college alumni groups, chamber of commerce groups, professional organizations, and college or corporate orientations to develop relationships among participants.

How Speed Networking Works

A variety of methods can be used to structure interaction with a common thread being the rotation of participants so that each person gets the opportunity to interact with every other person attending the event. Each participant is allotted a period of time to introduce herself which will vary from 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the size of the group.

When you RSVP for a speed networking event, you'll be advised of how it will work, how to prepare, and what the dress code is for the program.

Have an Elevator Speech Ready

Prepare a short elevator speech which summarizes key elements of your work and educational history as well as what you're thinking about regarding your future career path. Practice articulating this information in a smooth and succinct way within the time parameters of the event.

Since speed networking is a twoiway process, it is important to listen carefully to each of your partners to make sure you understand their situation and so you can offer advice and help, whenever possible.

Bring Business Cards

Business cards are often exchanged during speed networking events, and participants who hit it off can seek further opportunities for a one-on-one exchange. This might take place at a reception after the speed networking component of an event or on another day over a cup of coffee. Make sure your business card includes, in addition to your contact information, a reference to your LinkedIn profile or another website containing a detailed summary on your professional background.

Have Questions Ready to Ask

Before you attend a speed networking event, create a list of questions to ask, so you're not scrambling to come up with questions during the program.

Related: Elevator Speeches | How to Make the Most Out of College Networking Events | Types of Career Networking Events

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