How To Create Lasting Connections With Your Networking. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Nishtha Chugh of Toastmasters International. Nishtha will explore how to create lasting connections with your Networking. The rationale behind solid and positive impressions, especially first impressions, may be driven by science, but they can be purposefully delivered using social skills.
How To Create Lasting Connections With Your Networking
You often see people flitting around at networking events, giving out their business cards, and are left wondering how effective they are being. Are they making a positive and lasting impression on the people they meet?
As human beings, we have an innate desire to impress others. This is rooted in our evolutionary need to forge strong connections with peers. In pre-historic times, being part of a group was fundamental to our survival as it protected us from predators and other threats. Today, we can say that success in career and social relations is the new definition of survival. We seek professional and social validation from our peers, and networking events are our new savannas.
So, how can we be most effective in the environment of the networking event? Rather than flitting about, you can employ social skills in your networking to make valuable and lasting connections.
Here Are Some Tips For Networking Successfully
Start Using The Microphone Technique
Meeting strangers in a formal setting intending to make connections is a form of public speaking. You may not be on the stage but perform the same role.
Using the microphone technique is an effective way to make a solid first impression with a significant group. When introducing yourself to the group, imagine standing on a stage (or live radio) with a microphone. This mental exercise helps in two ways: first, you are likely to speak in concise sentences with a better selection of words, and second, your voice and cadence will sound more measured. You will be surprised to see how employing this technique purposefully can instantly prime your audience to tune into what you have to say.
Understand The Value Of Hand Gestures
A few years ago, ananalysis of TED talks revealed that the most viral speakers used an average of nearly 465 hand gestures. The least popular speakers, on the other hand, used half as many. Even with the sound speeches with more hand gestures, they received higher scores from test volunteers on trustworthiness and charisma than those with fewer gestures. In other words, what was said was less impactful than how it was said. In another study, researchers found that using hand gestures increased the value of the spoken message by sixty per cent. They were combining verbal and nonverbal cues to enhance information processing and recall.
Let your hands complement your spoken communication when engaging at a networking event. Hands indicate intention. Using them effectively and purposefully can help establish trust and credibility with your peers.
Getting Everyone’s Name Right
People like to hear their names or at least see peers make an effort to spell or pronounce them correctly. It helps affirm their existence and reinforces their sense of self. Directly asking someone to help you pronounce their unfamiliar or challenging name can be the simplest yet most powerful way to show respect and establish a positive association. It’s worth remembering that requesting people to repeat their names is still more polite than asking them for a shorter name or a nickname.
Make Use Of The Pause
What are your most memorable movie scenes or speeches? Would you describe them as powerful and moving? Watch them again, and you will notice that their impact, in all likelihood, is down to the well-timed pauses in their delivery. Pausing before and after important ideas helps to create emphasis and significance. This allows the audience to absorb the message more intently and makes the speaker appear more confident and assertive. So, even when speaking one to one, use the power of the pause.
Open Your Ears
Positive first impressions and interactions do not consist of confident verbal and non-verbal speech alone. Constructive engagement in small groups, like those in the networking events, also depends on your ability to listen effectively. At Toastmasters International, we emphasise the need to develop listening skills as much as speaking skills.
To establish a connection with your group, it’syou must listen with your ears and your eyes. This means active and attentive visual listening by paying close attention to the person you want to build a rapport with. Making eye contact with them and observing their posture, facial expressions, and body language will help you gain insights into their intentions and emotions. This also reflects authenticity and sincerity on your part.
Find A Positive Way To Be Memorable
Events like networking require repetitive and seemingly mundane exchange of essential information such as names, jobs and interests. In professional settings, people often resist saying anything unusual or adding ‘colourful’ details when introducing themselves. But these elements can make you stand out, appear instantaneously exciting and leave your peers with something to remember you by long after you’ve met them. The key is to do it skillfully and within context.
Memorable examples include Steve Jobs, who introduced himself at a high-profile university commencement speech by saying, “he had never graduated from college.” Tennis ace Steffi Graf opened with: “I’m Steffi Graf, and my backhand is so fierce that it has its fan club.”
Incorporating a humorous fact, a surprising statement, or a professional anecdote into your introduction can be an exciting and unusual way to create a positive and long-lasting impression that can lead to a lasting connection.
Your attendance at networking events can be transformed by using the art of social skills. Not only will you enjoy the events much more, but you’ll also find yourself making contacts that will be invaluable in the future.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nishtha Chugh is a member of Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit organisation that has provided communication and leadership skills since 1924 through a worldwide network of clubs. More than 400 clubs and 10,000 members are in the UK and Ireland. Members follow a structured educational programme to gain skills and confidence in public and impromptu speaking, chairing meetings and time management. To find your nearest club, visit www.toastmasters.org