If the thought of meeting new people at conferences or networking events causes your stomach to knot up, know you're not alone. Assuage your nerves and gain confidence with networking etiquette know-how.
Virtually everybody is nervous and anxious about meeting new people at conferences and events. But networking at such events, especially during our troubling economic times, is crucial for giving your career a boost.
That's where etiquette comes in, says Judith Bowman, founder of Protocol Consultants, an etiquette advisory firm, and Jacqueline Whitmore, author of Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work. They say that good etiquette engenders goodwill and trust from others, and makes it more likely that others will want to work with you. "Etiquette is really about the golden rule," says Whitmore.
Perhaps the best part of focusing on etiquette is that you'll be so busy concentrating on following guidelines and making others feel comfortable that you'll have less time to remember your own nervousness. So use this slide show to create a to-do list for your next event, and be sure to tell us what has helped you network well.