How to make a good impression

When networking, whether it be social or business, a formal event or a small gathering, you never know who you’re going to meet and how they might impact your personal or professional life. There are a few key things to keep in mind to make a good and memorable first impression:

  • Know your intention and why you are there, whether you want to talk about work, family, a new business idea or gain insight to the events organisation. Whatever you are there for, keep this in mind when you meet new people, it will also save you getting tongue tied in conversation.
  • Dress appropriately and in line with your intentions, suit the crowd and industry but also maintain a sense of self with your attire. Keep purse and earrings simple and small.
  • Always smile, even if you are nervous
  • Fall back to small talk if you are unsure what to say; asking questions like how they know the host, if they travel for work, if they are a local – this will lead you to other topics.
  • Body language is so important: Angleย your body towards speakers, even if you are seated at a round table, it is better to turn your chair towards the stage or key speaker. When you are speaking with other attendees, angle your body towards them, shoulders and feet. Dont gesture too much, or touch your face, hair or arms.
  • Don’t avoid eye contact; many people feel uncomfortable looking someone in the eye, try to make eye contact with all the people you are speaking with, even if you are standing in a large group.
  • Posture indicated confidence, self esteem and energy levels. Try to stand straight and not hide in a corner or sitting down all night.
  • Have a strong handshake.
  • Dont fold your arms across your body, hold a drink if you are unsure what to do with your hands.
  • Be on time
  • Be polite and attentive; offer people around you tea, coffee or water, it is also an opportunity to get talking
  • Be in a good frame of mind. Listen to upbeat music to snap yourself out of a funk or do some breathing exercised to oxygenate your body.
  • Decide you want to meet people; decide to put yourself out there and network, say hello to strangers, ask questions related to what people say, and pay attention to conversations.
  • When handed a business card, look it over both sides, this will show you are interested in who they are and what they do.

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