Everyone at a networking event is there to develop new business or to reinforce current relationships. So how can you make yourself stand out in a crowd of people who all have their own agendas? Try these six ways to capture the attention of others at your next networking event.
According to Leil Lowndes in her wonderful book, “How To Talk To Anyone,” you can capture and hold anyone’s attention without saying a word.
I picked some of her best body-language techniques from her book and shared them below. Go to Amazon and buy her wonderful book. It is full of terrific ideas and suggestions on the way we connect with someone when we are Networking or anywhere in life.
1. The Flooding Smile
“Don’t flash an immediate smile when you greet someone,” says Lowndes. It can appear as if anyone in your line of sight would receive that same smile. Instead, pause and look at the other person’s face for a second, and then let a “big, warm, responsive smile flood over your face and overflow into your eyes.”Even though the delay is less than a second, it will convince people your smile is sincere and personalized for them. According to Lowndes, a slower smile can add more richness and depth to how people perceive you.
2. Sticky Eyes
Pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner’s with sticky warm taffy,” Lowndes advises. Even after they’ve finished speaking, keep the eye contact. “When you must look away, do it ever so slowly, reluctantly, stretching the gooey taffy until the tiny string finally breaks.”You can also try counting your conversation partner’s blinks. In a case study, subjects reported significantly higher feelings of respect and fondness for their colleagues who used this technique. (This might sound like a lot of work– it really isn’t and you are working on how you connect with others.)
3. The Big Baby Pivot
People are very conscious of how you react to them. When you meet someone new, turn your body fully toward them and give them the same, undivided attention you would give a baby. Lowndes says, “Pivoting 100% toward the new person shouts, ‘I think you are very, very special.’”
4. Limit the Fidget
If you want to appear credible, try not to move too much when your conversation really matters. “Do not fidget, twitch, wiggle, squirm, or scratch,” Lowndes says. Frequent hand motions near your face can give your listener the feeling that you are being untruthful or anxious. Instead, simply fix a constant gaze on the listener and show them that you’re fully concentrated on the matter at hand.
5. Hang by Your Teeth
This visualization tip will help you look more confident with your posture, which Lowndes describes as “your biggest success barometer.” To do this, visualize a leather bit hanging from the frame of every door you walk through. Pretend that you are taking a bite on the dental grip, and let it sweep your cheeks into a smile and lift you up. “When you hang by your teeth,” Lowndes says, “every muscle is stretched into perfect posture position.” Your head will be held high, shoulders back, torso out of your hips, and feet weightless.
6. Hello, Old Friend
When you first meet someone, imagine they are your old friend. According to Lowndes, this will cause a lot of subconscious reactions in your body, from the softening of your eyebrows to the positioning of your toes.
I am constantly researching the subject of body language and how important it is when we are connecting and communicating. Stay tuned for more and put these into practice and let me know your success.