Calmfidence® Daily - Tips for Networking, Mingling, & Showing Up Alone
In person networking events, parties, meetings, and other gatherings are back! Hallelujah!
But these types of social situations can be intimidating under normal circumstances, and now even more so with many people feeling out of practice due to the pandemic. People have expressed a sort of social PTSD since Covid stopped so much for so long. Many people know they need to go to these events to build business and community connections, but being a confident, comfortable, conversationalist doesn't always come easy.
Here are some ways to muster up the gift of gab and balance it with likable listening skills:
- Arrive early if possible. It's less overwhelming than walking into a room full of people. Greet others as they come in. If you do need to walk in alone, walk over to someone else who is alone or approach a group of three or five people. It's much easier to break into a conversation of odd numbers of people than even numbers.
- Make it your intention to be good company yourself. Focus on being pleasant, positive, and cordial.
- Remind yourself that everyone is there for the same reason, they want to connect.
- Smile and make eye contact. You will look confident, approachable, and smart. Studies show people who smile and make good eye contact are perceived as more intelligent in social situations.
- Strive to be interested rather than working too hard to be interesting. Be genuinely interested in others.
- Be fully present. Stats show that 80 percent of people are not good listeners. As most people listen they are already thinking about what they want to add to the conversation. Listen intently in the moment, people will love you for it.
- When someone asks you a question about yourself, answer in a few sentences and always finish with “and how about you?”
- No matter how interesting you believe your story is, don’t do monologues. Good conversation is always a volley.
- The best way to start a conversation is to ask a question about the other person, get them talking about something they love. Compliment a piece of jewelry, clothing item, or handbag. They spent time choosing those items because they reflect their personal style and interests.
- Pay attention to people’s body language. Look for the Belly Button Rule - people engaged and interested generally have their belly buttons facing each other. If their feet are pointing away from you, it’s time to wrap it up, they want to move on.
- Avoid controversial topics and intense conversations – keep it light and airy.
- Designate all dinners and parties as a “no complaining zone”.
- Make it a personal rule not to correct anyone. It’s better to be kind than right.
- Keep conversation short and sweet and keep it moving.
- Don’t be a “one upper” or play “topper”. Be conscious of “topping” the last person’s story with your own. It’s one of the few games where the winner looks like a loser
- Don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions. Ask open ended questions.
- Create your own professional name tag ahead of time. Great sites like www.nametag.com make it easy (got this great tip from PR pro Risa Hoag of GMG PR)
- Set out to make others comfortable, you will always increase your own comfort level by doing so.
Patricia Stark is Author of the new book: Calmfidence: How to Trust Yourself, Tame Your Inner Critic, and Shine in Any Spotlight. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Audible, and your favorite bookstore. Order Your Copy Here
Patricia is a Certified Personal & Executive Coach (CPEC of the CaPP Institute -Coaching & Positive Psychology) & a Certified Body Language Trainer (Body Language Institute Washington DC) and holds certificates in Eclectic Cognitive Behavior Therapy & Visualization/Guided Imagery (LIU). She heads Patricia Stark Communications a personal and professional development coaching and training company that helps people build their Calmfidence® in business and everyday life in public speaking, interviews, on camera, and interpersonal skills with tangible strategies for powerful communication skills, mastering self talk, and stress & anxiety relievers used by the pros. For 1-1 and Group Training Sessions and Workshops Email: Patricia@PatriciaStark.com or Visit www.patriciastark.com