About Me

Hi! I’m Diane Darling - pleasure to meet you. I am a consultant, keynote speaker, instructor, and leadership coach specializing in professional networking strategies. I have 20+ years of experience researching, developing, and educating on the role professional networking strategies play in both individual career development, as well as broader business performance. I look forward to seeing how we can work together.


At present, my services include virtual and in-person speaking engagements, one-on-one leadership coaching, and strategic consulting. I aim to meet each client where they are in their journey, and contribute in a way that makes sense for them. In doing so, I have had the pleasure of working with many wonderful clients in a variety of industries, such as accounting, architecture, law firms, higher ed, and more. Learn more here.


Lastly, I have been very fortunate to have had my networking strategies published by McGraw Hill in over nine languages, and I am always eager to hear other research perspectives in this area. My most popular books are The Networking Survival Guide and Networking for Career Success.

Origin Story

The brief origin story from my childhood of how and why I love what I do:

The industrial freighter was HUGE - especially from the eyes of a six-year-old girl. It would take three weeks to sail from San Francisco across the Pacific to the Philippines. I would soon be a new kid (and the only white girl) in a classroom at a local school.

For the next 10+ years I would attend six new schools and needed to learn how to make friends. This included going from rural Indiana to Bangkok and then coming back to Indiana for my senior year of high school. And, this was all before Facebook and even before email!

Little did I know that learning to speak to 'strangers' would be a lifelong skill - and one that I would eventually teach to others. I knew that the emotional intelligence behind 'making friends' and later 'networking' was important and an underserved area that could be shared more widely. The next hurdle I encountered was: how to be a good public speaker.

In order to overcome my fear of public speaking, I took acting and standup comedy classes. That out-of-the-box and strategic mindset has been a contributing factor to my success and is incorporated into my teachings, especially for introverts (like me!). Indeed, through this journey I was even a commencement speaker at MIT Charm School (yes, there is such a thing).

I continue to enjoy learning about people, culture, and how people engage, live, and communicate. In doing so, I have traveled to all seven continents and approximately 60 countries. I have lived in the Philippines, Thailand, Colorado, Indiana, and Alabama. Though I call Boston, MA my current home - my pursuit to understand the diverse nature of human encounters persists, and it enriches how I connect with learners and clients.

In short, I am grateful to have had these experiences which have influenced the speaker, coach, author, and instructor I am today.

Speaker, Author & Media

Considered a pioneer in social networking, McGraw-Hill commissioned me to write the definitive book on networking in 2003 (before Facebook or LinkedIn) called The Networking Survival Guide. It went into a 2nd printing just 90 days after the book hit the shelves. Collectively my books have been translated into 9 languages. Today, I continue to love writing, and do so predominantly in the form of my newsletter: The Net Effect.

As an instructor, I have taught at Harvard Business School, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, 20th Century Fox, Cisco Systems, Bank of America, University of Texas Law School (to name a few clients). Media appearances include NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe.


A few tricks to master the networking name game

You have just met someone at an event and then two seconds later you have no clue what their name is.

Networking Tips

Quality, not quantity for key contacts

It's quality contacts you are after. The number of business cards you get is not an indicator of future business.

Networking Tips

Test your networking skills to avoid hitting the skids

Networking skills can be practiced - and receiving feedback on how we present to others can be immensely helpful.

Networking Tips

Jumping from ‘who’ to ‘how’ is crucial in networking

Remember, whom you know may get you started, but how you proceed is the key to long-term success.

Networking Tips

Give it a rest: Only you can prevent networking burnout

It is a good idea to take a break every so often to prevent EEB -- Excessive Event Burnout.

Networking Tips

Why Doctors Need to Network

Encouraging medical professionals to further develop communication skills so they can share their accomplishments and their knowledge with others.

Networking Tips


Best Seller: The Networking Survival Guide

This fully revised edition of The Networking Survival Guide reveals tried and true networking tactics, as well as new ways to harness the extraordinary influence of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Best Seller: Networking for Career Success

Networking for Career Success shows professionals how to enhance their careers through effective networking. It covers everything from basics of networking to targeted techniques for making a career change, funding a new business venture, adding clients, and more.



There are no courses available yet. Stay tuned!

Fun Facts

  • I have a knack for helping people learn how to build mutually beneficial relationships - even if they're an introvert. This is why I feel I am doing what I love.
  • I am LinkedIn member #15,418 and joined it the year it started (2003) and have been speaking and writing about relationship management since 2000.
  • McGraw-Hill has published my books that are now in 9 languages. My most popular books are The Networking Survival Guide and Networking for Career Success.
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What people say about Diane

"I am a tough critic and Diane is the best of the best. Her content was brilliant and her delivery was exceptional."

“Diane teaches that generating clients isn't a matter of closing ‘sales’; it's a matter of building relationships with people you want to help and who want to help you.”

“…I learned networking the hard way, at one gruesome party after another. You can learn the easy way with Diane Darling’s book.”