Networks have always been important for business - from family-run businesses, to the old-school tie, jobs-for-the-boys and the whole ugly world of nepotism. But now, perhaps more than ever, we have the idea of networking as an activity, an activity that has become a keystone for small and medium-sized businesses, especially those who work with other businesses.
But face-to-face networking can be frightening - the idea of walking into a room full of strangers, of pitching your business to a crowd of people you don't know - and it can also be a tremendous drain on time and money. It really helps if you understand the general landscape of networking and how the different organisations function so that you can make more informed decisions about where to focus your resources.
In this course, we'll take a look at the types of group, the obligations that membership can involve, and the activities you can expect at different meetings.
We'll look at the whole before, during and after progression, with guidance on how you can prepare beforehand, advice on how to act during the event - including a section on how to prepare your pitch - and recommendations on what to do afterwards, to make your networking more effective.
We'll ask you to consider your own reasons for networking and explain some of the other motivations you may come across - it's important to realise that not everyone approaches things in the same spirit.
If you're new to networking this course will give you a clear overview of what is involved and get you on the right track from day one.
If you're a seasoned networker it will offer the opportunity to take stock and review what you are doing and why, to be sure you are getting the most out of your efforts.
Business networking groups range from informal to the most strictly regulated. Here we consider some of the types of group you will encounter.
Networking is a business like any other and includes membership fees, event attendance fees and other obligations.
The many different groups and organisations mean that there are a whole range of formats for events and a range of activities that take place.
Here we'll look at what you can do beforehand to find out about the event itself and the people who will be attending, as well as setting goals to make your networking more effective.
What are you aiming to achieve at the networking event and how can you make sure this actually happens and your time is spent effectively?
A single networking event is not likely to be sufficient to achieve a great deal, but by taking the right actions afterwards you can maximise the possibilities of effective networking.
Discover what a pitch is and why you should prepare it. Learn the three keys to effective pitching.
Sixty seconds is a very short time to include everything you want people to know about you and your business. Here we look a how to make the most of the short time you have for your pitch.
Presentation is key to making your pitch memorable so here we look at some basic techniques to ensure your pitch is heard and remembered.
A review of the course and a reminder of the main points covered and the resources available.
Award-winning poet, writer, translator and businesswoman, with a career spanning IT, teaching, design and publishing, Gwyneth specialises in copy writing and transcreation, particularly in the fields of lifestyle, travel and technology.
As joint owner of the UK design agency Tantamount, Gwyneth works with businesses, educators and freelance creatives on projects that draw together the threads of publishing, design, technology and training.
As a writer, she is fascinated by the multi-layered aspects of language revealed through translation and poetry, and her creative writings explore the borderlands between writer and narrator, between translation and creation, and between memoir and invention.
She was Poetry Coordinator and Digital Advisor to the SWWJ, the UK's oldest professional organisation for women writers, for whom she has run workshops and courses in subjects including creative writing, translation, and technology for writers.
You can find out more about Gwyneth at her website, where you'll find information about her books, as well as links to her personal blog and some of her other writing activities.