Friday, February 15, 2013

Book Review: Power Manners

Excerpt from Chapter in the book

Always Talk To Strangers!

You're invited to a business cocktail reception across town, right after work. It's not your favorite thing, and you always feel like a fish out of water, but after much humming and hawing you decide to accept the invitation.

You arrive on time, and by yourself. You make your grand entrance by slinking over, or making a mad dash to the hor d'oeuvres table. While heaping up you plate with goodies, you scan the room. It's buzzing with conversation. People seem to be having a great time, But you.... you wonder why you came - again! Another wasted evening with no one to talk to. So, you decide to help yourself to another plate of hor d'oeurvres before you leave.

If this rings true for you, your're not alone. Statistics show that up to ninety percent of adults experience anxiety when attending group functions with strangers. If you can relate to this story, and belong to the majority who are reluctant to mix and mingle, just remember that you are also seriously hindering your progress, personally and professionally.

Attending a business or social gathering can be turned into a unique way to connect with others for mutual benefit. If you find yourself missing out on opportunities to take advantage of an evening of networking, then here are some tips that will guarantee some measure of success next time.

Not only in networking a way to connect with people who can help you in a supportive nurturing way, it can also provide a never-ending source of business and social connections. To ensure that this night won't be another missed opportunity to make important contacts, do some homework, and  find out who's, why's and where's, what's and when's. Finding out who will attend gathering, and learning about their interests will give you something to talk with people of influence, some of whom just may have something in common with you.

Get psyched up for the occasion. You're not going off to a wake; keep it light and lively. If you can, list specific benefits of attending before you go.

Set  some goals and stick to them.

Practice your elevator speech. Your self introduction should be clear, concise, engaging and different. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Your handshake is a sure indicator of your confidence. Practice it until you've got it firm and friendly. Don't forget to smile, be open, enthusiastic and, for Pete's sake, show some expression and emotion: nobody enjoys a dead mask for a face.

Listening is an active task. Be encouraging by giving a nod and smile to those speaking. Put them at ease by getting them to talk about themselves: ask lots of open-ended questions and give the other person time to answer without interrupting. Always lean into the person you are speaking with- it send a positive, non-verbal signal that you're actually listening to them.

Lighten up and laugh at yourself. But never tell a self-depreciating story. Instead, make it positive and if you can funny.

Do everything with enthusiasm- from arrival, introduction to others, to leaving. Remember that  "like attracts like." So, be positive!

Avoid "eye-darting." Isn't it annoying when you are with someone who is constantly looking at everything and everyone except at you? Not only is it unnerving, it's downright rude. So , don't do it!

Catch up on small topics. Have something interesting to say. Current event's, the venue, the food. You may improve your drawing power as a  conversationalist by getting some extra ammunition solving crossword puzzles, and reading motivational books and good literature.

Visibility counts. Volunteer for community organizations where you will meet new people and become more confident. Be willing to help others, without expectations. "How can I help you?"  really does work. It's great connecting tool.

Have plenty of business cards to hand out. When given a card, write pertinent information on the back as soon as you can: include date, place and what you discussed.

Follow-up is crucial to successfully networking. Find a reason to re-establish contact, even if it's only to ask for advice on an area of the other person's expertise.

Networking can change you life. It's important to approach every new person with an open mind. You will be pleasantly surprised, guaranteed.

Shannon says...

Enter a room like loyalty.Stand tall, hold you head up high... pause... don't rush. It's guaranteed to get you noticed.

Click on link below to learn more about Power Manners

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