Brainfood: Business manners - Networking

Know your stuff. Do some research, so you can chip in with intelligent comment. Find out who'll be at the event and decide who to meet - you'll be more likely to make that contact and less likely to stumble when you do.

Last Updated: 03 Jun 2016

Put yourself about. You won't learn by sticking to people you know, so be confident about joining groups - you can help them as much as they can help you. Speak, but not too much.

Listen. Others have needs too - help them to achieve their goals and they'll open up. They may even pass on an invaluable nugget of information.

Pay attention. If someone's talking to you, don't let your eyes dart around looking for someone better. Fidgeting and saying 'Mm-hmm' won't impress the person who's busy battering you with figures.

Disengage graciously. Getting stuck with the wrong person can be a nuisance, but don't be rude about slipping away. Bring someone else into your conversation before making a break.

Remember names. Swap cards, and discreetly jot names down if you have to. If you do forget, admit it quickly. The alternative - a night of mumbling 'Oh, hello there' - is far more awkward.

Don't bug anybody. If your must-meet contact is in demand, get someone to introduce you. Offer your card, ask the best way to contact them, then withdraw - better that than hassling them with a muddled pitch.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Public failure can be the best thing that happens to you

But too often businesses stigmatise it.

Andrew Strauss: Leadership lessons from an international cricket captain

"It's more important to make the decision right than make the right decision."

Ranked: Britain's best-run companies

These are the businesses rated top by their peers for their quality of management.

Unconscious bias in action

Would you dislike someone just because they’re from the Forest of Dean?

I ran Iceland's central bank in 2009. Here's what I learned about crisis ...

And you thought your turnaround was tricky.

"It's easy to write a cheque you don't have to cash for 30 ...

But BP's new CEO has staked his legacy on going green.