First rule of thumb is to reframe the idea of networking.
- Relax. Don’t try too hard, nod your head too much or constantly push by interjecting “mm-hmm.” These tics
make us feel hurried. Settle into the social grace of focusing, listening and asking a couple of intelligent questions.
- Make statements. Some of us have the habit of intonation that turns up and suggests a question. Statements suggest ownership. Questions seek confirmation.
- Be candid. Wholesale agreement with everything that’s said will kill your presence. Honesty is memorable.
- Learn something new. It renews your conversational confidence and makes you more interesting.
- Don’t push. If there is a real connection underway, you will ruin it with a pre-mature pitch. Business might begin to happen in a follow-up meeting but it won’t happen if you ask for something too soon.
Note: this is the second in a three part series on Presence and Charisma.