Something very important to remember when you show up is to be aware of the image you project. Watch your “packaging.” Business networking is often about first impressions, and first impressions are often about presentation. Your image should reflect success. Show up dressed well for the occasion. Groom yourself well.
Never let your appearance cause others to want to disappear. Don’t overdo accessories. Carry yourself well. Your appearance makes a statement about you; it tells others what you think about yourself.
Look at yourself carefully in the mirror before you leave for your meeting. Does the way you look add to or take away from the message you want to convey? You alone are responsible for how others see you.
“Networking is not an interview, and once outside the office, the strict rules of the dress code no longer apply. You’re left on your own to overdress and look like you don’t belong or underdress and look like you’ll never belong.” ~ Marc Cenedella
There is an ocean a of people who attend networking events. The first thing that they will notice is your physical appearance. Researchers have found that strangers start to assess each other immediately once they’re in a room. People generally form an opinion of your referability within the first few seconds of laying eyes on you. Dress smart! Wearing the right attire to a networking event cannot be understated.
If you’re not sure what everyone will be wearing, ask around to ensure you won’t be the only one sans suit. When in doubt, business casual is your best bet. This depends upon the environment, but universally means “not a suit.” It could be a blazer and slacks, a sweater, scarf and nice skirt, or khakis and a polo shirt.
When in doubt, or until you are familiar with the environment you are working in, dress conservatively. It is always better to be too dressed-up than dressed-down. Professional dress is a must for interviews, business networking, employer dinners, or professional events including conferences and association meetings. When in doubt, dress up, not down. Making a good impression is nine-tenths being ready to make a good impression. The rest is just acting natural. No matter what standard of dress you’re at or what culture you’re in, you look well put-together and like you’ve paid attention to details. Also, never be afraid to show some personality too. It helps you stand out!
“At face-to-face events, dress well, polish how you speak, make eye contact and generally present yourself to impress others with your professionalism and charisma.” ~ Demir Barlas
Are you impressed when someone adds your name to the conversation? Another way you can create a favorable image is when you show up, call people by their name. Their name is their favorite word. You say, “I can’t remember names!” You’re right! As long as you affirm that you can’t remember names, you can’t. Not using names, says, “I’m not interested in you.” When you hear someone’s name, repeat it if need be to be sure you heard it correctly. A person’s name is their most important possession.
Have you ever been in a room full of people and someone from across the room shouted your name. When you turned around, you realized that they were trying to get someone else’s attention. Hearing your name short-circuits your brain. People want to know you are interested in them. Calling them by name helps accomplish this. Insert their name in the conversation immediately. It will help you remember it.
Name tags can help you in remembering names. They can also help others to remember your name. Wear your nametag on the right side, in line with your vision when you shake someone’s hand. I favor the plastic holder that allows you to slip your business card in it. This kind assists you in connecting their name with their business. It helps build your brand.
Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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