04 Tips for Effective Networking At ELT Events

Hello there!

First of all, I’m so sorry for being AWOL for so long. I launched my online English course and it was a pretty hectic time.

I haven’t been in the classroom for a while, around five years, and since then I’ve also started to study Internet marketing more seriously, since I was planning to launch an online course.

By doing so I found out that, besides taking several online courses on specific tools and techniques, I also had to “make myself known” in the Internet marketing scene. So I started attending events to network with Internet marketers and I learned a couple of things.

Before I tell you what those things are, the reason I’m posting this today is because I’m in Rio for the 3rd Alumni, CTJ and Ibeu Conference and as well as attending very good and thought-provoking sessions, I like to network with my ELT peeps.

Why is networking so important? Well, for obvious reasons you need to step out of your comfort zone of action (too clichè?) and start reflecting on your teaching practice by listening to what other professionals have to say and share.

Oftentimes we get so caught up in deeply rooted models that we don’t even realize the plethora of things happening nowadays (ever heard of mobile devices in the ELT classroom?).

OK, so here are my tips for networking successfully in any professional event.

1. Don’t be shy. I know you’re a more reserved person and everything, but you need to talk to people, so let your shyness aside and mingle.

2. Listen to what people have to say. Instead of gabbing on and on about your school, your students or your Delta course, first listen to what people have to say. Sometimes even the smallest details will make a difference and you will see things differently.

3. Break up from your group. If you’re traveling with very good friends, sometimes you will need to break up from them to get to know other people and maybe start a new friendship or business partnership.

4. Help, then ask to be helped. Isn’t it extremely irritating when you have just met someone and this person starts asking for help? By help I mean things like, “Oh, you have to send me that pdf with the Present Perfect exercises!” and things of the sort. If it’s the case, first offer help, then if you need to, ask for help.

Well, I hope these tips can help you in your upcoming events and before I forget, below are some of my dear ELT friends!

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Adir Ferreira

Adir Ferreira has been an English teacher for 22 years. He is also a teacher educator, blogger and professional singer. Adir is based in Bebedouro (SP); you can access his blog at www.adirferreira.com.br and email him contato@adirferreira.com.br.

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