You walk into a room full of people you don’t know, your heart is racing and you are ready to exit the room before the event has even begun! Does this sound like you at a networking event? Have no fear! Here are some great pre-event stress busters so you show up cool and confident at your next outing.
Calm the mind and body: Pre-game with a meditation exercise
Manage the physiological impact of pre-event stress on your body (heart pounding, sweaty palms, you get the picture) with this meditation exercise.
- Sit quietly and comfortably.
- Close your eyes.
- Envision yourself in a setting that is comforting to you. To give you an idea, I like to visualize myself on a beach looking out at the ocean.
- If your mind wanders off to other things, say to yourself “Thinking” and then bring yourself back to the visualization you have chosen.
- Do this for ten minutes.
- Take this relaxed state you have cultivated and bring it with you to the event!
Be assertive: Set a networking “target” and meet it!
If you walk into a networking event with no clarity on what your goals are, it can exacerbate your anxiety level tenfold. Empower yourself by setting an intention for the event. For example, you will leave the event with business cards from five people. If you feel prepared before you step into the room, it will help ease the stress of being there.
Going up?: Practice your elevator pitch
Once again, be prepared and you’ll feel more at ease. Practice your 2-minute elevator pitch:
- Who are you?
- How can people at the event help you or your company?
Write it out and then practice out loud! Say it out loud to yourself while walking down the street (people may think your crazy but who cares?!?), in the car or in the shower. When its game-time, having this speech in your back pocket will definitely help take the edge off.
Steal the show: Wear something you feel comfortable in
I’ll take a tip from the dating world. When you are dressed to impress for your loved one or going on a first date, how much better do you feel on the inside? Go to your closet, pick something that makes you feel like a rock star (no ripped jeans please, event appropriate) and that should help calm your pre-event jitters.
In summary, pre-game with a meditation, set an intention before you go, practice your elevator pitch and dress to the nines!
I hope these tips helped, would love to hear what tactics work for you!
Stacy Slawitsky turned to yoga and mindfulness as a means to relieve the stress of a demanding job at a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Her passion to share the benefits of these practices with others led her to start ZenConnect. She conducts stress management programs for companies throughout the Boston area.