The reservations that many people feel at a networking event are known to us at Next Generation Marketing, Inc. as well. Here are several common anxieties professionals have about making connections and how we get around them:

• Nothing Good to Say: This is one of our favorite Next Generation Marketing, Inc. phobias because it’s so simple to fix. If you’re afraid of sounding foolish, just listen. Most people would prefer an attentive audience anyway.

• Don’t Know Enough to Sound Smart: Sometimes a group you’re in will start speaking about a topic that is foreign to you. When this happens, listening is again the recommended course of action. You will learn what you need to know without admitting to your ignorance.

• Not Interested in What’s Being Said: There are two Next Generation Marketing, Inc. strategies for this situation. The first is to politely excuse yourself from the conversation. The second involves our favorite solution to many communications issues: just listen. Your lack of interest may result from never having met someone who feels passionately about a topic.

• Just Naturally Bad at Networking: It’s a thought many have had: what if I’m just bad at networking, and always will be? You’re probably setting yourself up for failure with overly ambitious objectives. Set a goal to meet just one person at each event, then when that seems easy, increase to two. Work at a more relaxed pace, and you’ll be a master networker in no time.

How do you conquer your fear of networking?