Are you exhibiting the kind of impression that you truly want to give?

When conducting business, including business-related social events, ensure that your appearance, wardrobe and grooming are exhibiting the kind of impression that you truly mean to give to others, especially your competition!

As you have become more aware of mannerisms and communication styles in others, what are some of their techniques that you could adopt that would make a good impression? _____

Share interesting stories. Are you comfortable initiating conversations with people you have never met when attending a networking event? _______ What interesting stories can you prepare ahead of time? First, do a self-assessment. What is interesting about you that you can share with others? Include talents and interests unrelated to your job but that others can relate to. These could include your passion for writing, fundraising, organizational skills, creativity, etc. It is not all about “what” you do but “who” you are as a person! __________

What goal did you accomplish that they may be interested in? What appropriate family stories or experiences have you had that they can relate to? Practice a few real-life stories ahead of time so your conversation will flow naturally. Adjust the level of formality depending on who you are talking to, their type of business, and type of product or service you are offering. ______________

What specifically are you are doing, or have done, that will make you interesting? Engaging? Or that validates your experience, knowledge and why you stand above your competition? _______________ Practice the script until it flows, sounds confident, and depicts the true nature of your business and capabilities. As you meet new clients and build new business relationships, be intent on presenting yourself in a positive manner, upbeat and confident about your work and life.

Write out and practice introducing yourself to a variety of individuals from various industries. What are the key points you will mention?
While thinking about these newly prepared introductions, assess the results of your interactions. After you leave the event, remember how comfortable you were and how others responded to you. Depending on how successful those conversations went, modify your introductions and stories accordingly. Could you ask other attendees more questions about themselves and their businesses to keep the ball rolling in a more engaging conversation?

Sharpen your non-verbal signals. What we do with our hands, feet, facial expressions, eyes, and head is critical to the impression others will take away from our conversation and we must ensure those signals match what we say and the meaning we want to convey.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC.  She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at rita@transformationacademy.com.