There’s one thing I see people do wrong continually at social and networking events and if they were to just change this one thing, it would have a massive impact on how successful they were in that environment. I’m going to share that with you right now.
What is this thing?
Well, it’s probably one of the simplest body language changes you can make whenever you go into a networking or social environment.
Before I tell you what the technique is, I’m going to tell you why I think it is people don’t do it. I think the reason is that people are so self-conscious and they’re so concerned about what other people think of them when they are in that environment, and those thoughts manifest themselves into this thing and stop them doing this thing, which will make a massive difference.
I’ve gone on enough.
What is this thing?
Well, it is of course, the smile.
The smile is an absolutely basic, basic, body language technique that you must get right. The amount of times I’ve been to an event and all the guys are trying to act cool, act nonchalant, and aloof and tough. They’re acting like that. No one wants to approach someone like that. It’s not inviting. It’s not friendly.
The way you get remembered at networking events and at social events is that you are putting out a positive vibe. You are putting out positive energy to the room. Your aim should be to leave everyone better off and in a more positive mood than when they met you.
Imagine you walk in and you see someone smiling, having a really animated conversation with a group of people, but they’re just too busy. You can’t break in there, so you go around the rest of the room and you come back at a later point and that person is now free. You’re going to go up and talk to them because you know that they are positive and happy.
6 additional tips to project a positive vide
1. Make a conscious effort
Make a conscious decision that you are going to smile at everyone you meet.
2. Practise smiling
Practice smiling in front of the mirror. You need to lose some of those inhibitions that are stopping you, that are causing you to not smile.
3. Picture a happy scene
There are things, thoughts, and feelings in your head that is stopping your natural tendency to smile. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to smile. If you’re not, it’s because you’re uncomfortable and people will see that.
If you look uncomfortable, if you look nervous, then people are not going to want to come up and talk to you because they’re worried that you will pull them down. You will pull their energy, their state down. They want to meet people that will pull their state up.
You’re going to have, potentially all these negative, critical thoughts going on in your head.
“I’m not funny enough.”
“No one is listening to me.”
“I’m not attractive enough.”
All this stuff you can let go on in your head and it’s there, but don’t grab onto any of those thoughts.
Instead, conjure up a memory where you were happy. Conjure up a time where you had a fantastic conversation with someone. Conjure up a time where you were out and you were having the most delicious meal or you were happy lying on the beach on holiday.
Get a positive feeling going in your body through thinking about something positive and then when you walk in the room, you’ll be smiling anyway because you’ll be thinking about that thought.
You’re not thinking about all the negative things. You’re not worrying about if people are going to like you.
4. Listen to music
The other great thing that works with this is music. Often I will listen to some music on the way to an even to get me in a state, to get me fired up, to get me happy, so that when I walk in, two minutes before I walk in the door, headphones out, in my pocket.
I’ve still got those tunes going on in my head. Even now i’m thinking about it now you see, because I’m reliving a positive memory. You can probably see the smile is much more genuine because I am actually thinking about an event I went to and I did just that.
5. Breathe to relax
Relax. It’s impossible to be nervous when you’re relaxed. Before you go to an event, take a few deep breaths. You can do this before you walk out the door. Sit on your sofa. Sit at your house. Before you go out, sit on the tube even if you’re on your way to the event and just take a moment to breathe deeply and relax. You will find that your nervousness just disappears. Ideally, you’d be doing those kind of exercises everyday anyway to relax yourself and make yourself less inhibited.
6. Visualise success
Also, visualise yourself having success at the event. Critical. When you’re doing those breathings, you can imagine yourself walking into the event and seeing yourself smiling and then when you turn up, your brain knows what to do. You’ve already told it. You’ve already given the blueprint of what it has to do.
If you do this right and by then end of it, everyone will want to talk to you and you’ll have people coming up to you afterwards saying, oh you had such a great, positive energy about you. I wanted to come and meet you. That will happen.
Of course, there’s way more to it than just smiling. You’ve got to be very open in your body language. You’ve got to have good conversation skills. You need to know how to reframe situations to your advantage.
But smiling is the first impression.
Smiling is your foot in the door to any conversation. It takes the rapport up a little bit. Not smiling instantly kills it. It slams the door and locks it shut. It’s very difficult to get back from that if you meet someone.
There it is. The one body language tip which you can put straight into action.
When you go to an event, please smile at everyone. It’s a great technique. So simple, but people are doing it. Let’s have everyone smiling at the next event I go to. That would be fabulous.