How to “Work” Your Networking

How to “Work” Your Networking

human-757444_1280As an entrepreneur or an employee, your average day is filled with interactions with others. In addition to phone calls, formal speeches or presentations, training sessions, media interactions, and numerous dialogues with colleagues and customers or clients, networking events can be some of the most important venues for making a good first impression!

Many people are reluctant to meet strangers at networking events due to introversion or shyness. The simple truth is that many –if not all—of those same people feel similarly and are hesitant to initiate conversations in new social situations.  Similar interests help former strangers become professional contacts and possibly even friends! Take the initiative to approach someone and introduce yourself with confidence, class, and charisma. The bright fist impression you make with the effectual body language and a strong, clear voice could open up doors to your personal and professional futures.

If you want to be powerful and influential, look and sound the part with these helpful tips:

  • People who speak all day, such as salespeople and teachers, should drink EIGHT glasses of water per day to help maintain their voices.
  • Be an active listener, instead of thinking of your next comment while waiting for the other person to stop talking.
  • Adjust your volume and rate of speech to that of the other person.
  • Include very brief pauses after expressing important ideas; this allows the listener time to process and remember the idea.
  • Keeping the body and face turned toward the listener, with good eye contact and a strong handshake, are vital aspects of body language in making a great first impression
  • Maintain good posture.

We all use “credibility detectors” when listening to someone talk to us. These sensors in the brain are activation by tone of voice and body language, not words. They give us important information about the speaker’s sincerity, integrity, and emotional intelligence. Some people equate this to the “gut-level hunch” we often sense.

Whatever the nature of your business, your voice is one of your most valuable assets. People learn who you are, what you’re all about, and even how much you care about them by what you say and how you say it. Yet most people rarely think about their voice and their speech, let alone invest the time needed to maximize their voice and speech skills. When you master the skills of aligning the content of your message (what you want people to hear and understand) with the manner in which you speak, the tone of your voice, and your body language, you vastly improve your opportunities for success. Let us help you be more successful in the business world.

About the Author:

Ellen Dunnigan founded Accent On Business in 2001 specializing in public speaking, communication skills, and executive presence for leaders in business. She has 25 years of experience with professional and nonprofessional speakers in healthcare, media, politics, engineering, sports, and other industries. Ellen’s coaching in speaking skills gives established and emerging leaders greater confidence and credibility. Her leadership programs in accountability, alignment, difficult conversations, and organizational communication have helped leaders expand their influence. Ellen is known for her practical “how to” style.

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