Networking: Communication & Engagement Begins with You

23 Oct 23 | Jennie Marshall

In this latest blog, our Head of Learning Solutions, Jennie Marshall, discusses networking techniques and how to improve communication and engagement with others.

I’ve recently been working with a lot of graduates, and networking is quite often the subject I field most questions on.

First of all there’s often confusion around what it is and how to use it to good effect.

Then there’s the ‘how do I network effectively?’

So let’s start with the basics.

Networking is a process of being able to enter a space have a conversation and act accordingly, being dressed for success and able to create that conversation that will create engagement to your potential contacts and clients.

There are three factors that are important to that have to work together: communication, posture and message. If any these are out of sync you will not be able to create high value connections.


Author Ivan Misner, in the book Networking like a Pro, talks about understanding the room and how you fit in it.

He says it’s all about angles and how everyone is standing and where they are facing.

If you have two participants standing face-to-face, then there is no opportunity to participate in the conversation. If they are in open posture you can interject with a question and join the conversation.

Take this illustration and apply in a big room it will become very evident where you can begin to start your conversations.

Dress attire

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a statement that has been made by many. In the networking world it’s very evident that this is the case and I have witnessed many sharp professionals being frustrated in not being able to connect with too many people.

Since the majority of events are ‘business attire’ events, you need to dress accordingly,

That does not mean dressing in a tuxedo, but in some way you have to ‘feel and look’ like you are in one! It will not take long for you to notice who the sharp dressed people in the room are, mostly likely they are speaking to multiple people at the same time. These are the influencers in the room who control the energy and inter-connectivity of the environment.


Having an engaging communication is important fabric that yields the best results for many master networkers. They key to do this is great questions and strong call to action.

It’s about being in the person shoes and not living there.”  Casey Combden.

By stepping in to their mind, body and soul and learning what makes them who they are, you can tailor your conversation to showcase a unique ability that you have.

Make an impression

An old saying goes: “You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make it great one”.

When you are communicating, it is important to be clear and concise in your message. Meeting new people at networking event and making a strong first impression will make it easier to follow through and connect with them. Be sure to follow up a few days after meeting them, to discuss further how to you or your products or services would improve their business or team.

Use passion and determination to grow your business and network, while also being aware of you how you present yourself, the way you communicate and how you conduct yourself in different social settings.

Taking the road less travelled to success may lead to taking risks and adjusting your message to attract and create long-term relationships that will be part of your network and provide the opportunities that will create a strong career for many years.

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Jennie Marshall

Jennie Marshall

Head of Learning Solutions

Proud Yorkshire lass, keen baker, green fingered and Labrador mum