In today’s technological world and “it’s who you know” mentality, the importance of networking is more crucial than ever before. Though it can be an overwhelming notion, advancing your networking skills can and will lead to more knowledge and opportunities. 

And, contrary to popular opinion, anybody can learn how to connect with others. It’s a learned skill, not an innate talent. So, don’t worry if you’re naturally more introverted!

Here are five tips to improve your networking skills.


Be yourself! Do you ever feel you have to act a certain way or say certain things in order to be accepted? Instead of being who you are, you’re being who you think others want you to be. Living and working this way is tiring and demoralizing. When you act authentically, others will be able to tell, and it will lead to more honest and meaningful connections.


It can be easy to focus more on what you’re going to say next rather than listening to the person speaking, but it’s important not to do this! Be sure to listen actively to what the other person is saying and engage with them. When we listen closely without interrupting or preparing our response, we can show the other person that what they are saying is valued. This builds a connection and makes the other person more likely to share something in return.


In your next networking opportunity, try to engage with people from different backgrounds. Diversity in your network can bring new ideas, fresh perspectives and a broader understanding. By having a network of differing backgrounds, you learn from different viewpoints and are likely to develop better decision-making capabilities.


Engage with platforms like LinkedIn. Social media is a powerful networking tool because it allows you to easily connect with others, share relevant information, reach more people and stay up to date. Plus, you might find out about the next networking event online!


After meeting someone new, try to follow up with them within 24 hours. Following up quickly shows your contact that connecting with them is a priority for you. A personalized message or email expressing your appreciation can go a long way.

Want an opportunity to practice these tips? Attend the Salt Lake Chamber’s next Business After Hours on June 20, 2024, at the National Ability Center Ranch in Park City, Utah. This event will provide you the opportunity to test out your networking skills and learn more about the transformative impact of adaptive recreation. Skilled instructors will also present archery, indoor climbing, equestrian and mountain biking demonstrations, emphasizing inclusive recreation for individuals with disabilities. This will be an event you don’t want to miss!