Loved this post at Mashable by Nellie Akalp26 and since my readers attend a lot of networking events (and so does the President of Find New Customers) I thought you’d find lots of value in it. We’re summarizing it (to avoid duplicate content issues), but you can read the original at 7 Networking Tips. Nellie’s bio follows the article too.

Whether you’re launching a startup or looking for new opportunities, networking events are an essential part of the game. Some lucky individuals dive right into these events and come out with five great leads and a new hiking buddy. But for others, these orchestrated events can be a total drag, full of awkward moments and monotonous small talk.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the networking scene, here are seven ways to make the most of these events.

1. Remind Yourself: You’re There to Give, Not Get

Our slogan at Find New Customers is “Always Be Helping.” Your mindset needs to be “How can I help you?” Give, don’t take.

2. Don’t Appear Desperate

No one likes a needy person – no matter if you need a date or a job. Act successful all the time, even if you are not.

3. Have Sincere Conversations

One of the fastest ways to turn someone off is to use language that is unfamiliar. So ditch the tech-speak and use simple terms.

4. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Love this one. If you want to get someone talking, ask open-ended questions. Opened ended questions include words like Why? and How? This is a skill that deserves practice.

5. Limit Your Drinking

Open bar is nice, but you need to keep your wits about you. So limit yourself to a couple of drinks and stop. As she says “you want to portray yourself as someone others want to work with, not drink with.”

6. Connect With Everyone (and Never Look Over Anyone’s Shoulder)

One of the things I advise is to think of the next person you meet as the most important person in the world. I know, some are boring, but give them your rapt attention and don’t let your eyes wander. Focus!

7. Practice

She says that networking is like any other skill. It can be learned. So get out there and do it. Keep improving.

Nellie Akalp is CEO of Since forming more than 100,000 corporations and LLCs across the U.S, she has built a strong passion to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs in starting and protecting their business the right way. “Like” the Facebook page for exclusive discounts and giveaways. To learn more about Nellie and see how she can help your business get off the ground quickly and affordably, please visit here.