Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #2 - Smile (Yes, you can!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Networking Event Tip #2 - Smile (Yes, you can!)

Networking Event Tip #2 - Smile (Yes, you can!)

Once you actually get your own fine self to an in-person networking gathering (see Networking Event Tip #1), there are a few basics to keep in mind. The very first, most important is to start with your most powerful people attractor - your smile. It's easy, you don't have to remember to bring it along (like, ahem, business cards), and you needn't worry about interrupting people.

Now, there are a few refinements I'd like to mention about smiling at networking events.

A. Smile, don't grin. A grin can look a bit evil or silly or maybe like you're trying to loosen something stuck in your teeth. Open your mouth and smile.

B. Look at people when you smile, it increases the attraction power and makes more sense. If you stand and smile at your shoes or the wall, that not only won't work FOR you, it might work AGAINST you - people may very well wonder if you're OK.

C. Mean it. An insincere smile looks phony to genuine people - it only attracts other phonies (and that's NOT why you go to networking events). Be genuine; just relax and smile.

OK, so now a few of you may be thinking, "You said it was simple but now it's more complicated . . . . 'smile don't grin', 'make eye contact', 'mean it' . . . too much, I can't do that, I'm stayin' home to watch 'Scooby-Doo' re-runs."

That's OK, you're not the only one concerned about smiling, but it just means you haven't practiced and you aren't in on the secret (I mean, you do want to know the JEDI smile secret, right?). When you realize how powerful your smile can be, you will be amazed. And the cool thing is you can practice easily and the reward is instantaneous. So practice and bring it.

(Bonus - Do what politicians, actors, sales people, preachers, and reality show hosts do: practice your smile in front of a mirror.)

This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion.

If you know of a networking event in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC] that's open to visitors, drop me a note ahead of time and I'll try to post it.