Use These Nonverbal Communication Techniques for More Effective Networking
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When a small business entrepreneur attends a networking event, sometimes what you do is as important as what you say. This is where nonverbal communication can play a part in your success. We put together a list of nonverbal communication techniques that can be useful at your next networking event.
Nonverbal Techniques Used in Effective Networking
The muscles in the face can communicate very effectively without saying one word. The one interesting thing about facial expressions is that they are universal. This means when the language barrier comes into play, you can still communicate via facial expressions. In other words, we want to try and keep track of our facial expressions during conversations. For example, be sure to avoid smiling when the subject matter is serious, and try to avoid making a face that may show disgust, even though you may be feeling that way. People will tend to read what is expressed on your face rather than what you say, so be careful how you emote while in conversation.
You can use gesturing to make yourself a more dynamic presence, but don’t overdo it. If you do it the correct way, you can use your hands to accentuate what you are saying. If you do it excessively, e.g. talking with your hands, it can be counterproductive and be a distraction that can make you look unprofessional and neurotic.
Many other nonverbal gestures can be used in networking. For instance, you can occasionally nod to show you are paying attention. You can also sit or stand with your arms open in front of you instead of folding your arms, which gives the impression of defensiveness.
In most networking events, touching will seldom be more than a handshake. However, that one opportunity of touch will communicate quite a bit about you. The firmness of your handshake will send a definite message to the other person about your personality. One thing that will turn most people off is a limp handshake.
On the other hand, you don’t want to shake so hard that it seems aggressive. The secret is getting the exact amount of correct firmness in your handshake that conveys assertiveness, not aggressiveness. Also, don’t forget to make sure your palms are dry before shaking hands as a sweaty palm is something everyone wants to avoid.
Think about the space you are occupying while networking and how you are using it. For example, avoid slouching by sitting straight against the chair or leaning forward to show engagement. When standing, avoid fidgeting or shaking your limbs, and stand straight with your shoulders back for better posture while networking.
Pay Attention to Others' Non-Verbal Signals
Take the time to observe others and notice their nonverbal reactions to your comments. The more that you can pick up on others’ nonverbal communication, the more you will have the ability to incorporate the techniques into your networking.
Promotora Systems, Inc. can empower your success with our network management programs. Our business development experts can assist you with a relationship workflow model that can optimize your networking to its fullest extent. Contact us today to start your business assessment.