Actions speak so much louder than words!!
There are two types of communication that occur at business networking events - verbal and non-verbal.
When attending business networking meetings you are encouraged to plan, prepare and practice ensuring you’re armed with the most inspiring introductions, perfect presentations and quality questions.
This is obviously really important but do bear in mind that your actions speak volumes about you too and people will come to conclusions about you before you’ve even had chance to say hello. This non-verbal communication often gets over looked.
So let’s have a look at this in a bit more detail. The way you dress, behave, even stand, all send a message out about you and peoples interpretation of that message will vary based on their own beliefs and experiences. This is assumption and assumptions become truths. Some assumptions may be accurate but others certainly will not be. This means that all the planned, prepared and practised words in the world may not have the desired effect and potentially great opportunities will not come your way.
|Danger Area||Non-Verbal Communication||What they think||Perceived Traits|
|Arriving late and leaving early||Networking is not important||You can't be bothered or think you are more important than others||Arrogance or disorganised|
|Appearance||Scruffy/dirty shoes, stained ties, hems down, buttons missing. Inappropriate dress||Not bothered and certainly not professional||No pride or lazy|
|Materials||Cheap business cards, Hotmail emails, flimsy flyers, spelling mistakes||Quality is not important, not credible, no attention to detail||No pride, lazy or a Jack the lad|
|Follow Up||Spamming attendee lists or not doing what you said you would||You're just interested in selling and it's all about you. You word has no value and you cannot deliver||No respect or you're dishonest|
Don’t fall short at business networking events by being late, dressing inappropriately, using a hotmail email address or not following up. Others won’t know your reasons and will read this non-verbal communication in a negative way.
The answer is simple and the same as for verbal communication - plan well and prepare in advance!