Continuing our series of guest blogs – This week’s guest blog is brought to you by Hannah Liversidge
When you attend a networking event how do you look to the attendees? Are you smiling and happy to speak with them? If not, how will this attract others to you?
When I go anywhere I smile at others, I hope this gets them to smile back, if it doesn’t, I haven’t lost anything! When I attend a networking event I do exactly the same. I smile when I great others, I smile when eyes meet and I always try to be as positive as possible (without acting like a crazy person!). This helps to prove to these people that I am happy to chat with them, and that I am open to them coming to me and sparking that conversation. That is something that can be the scariest thing about networking – starting the conversation. Are you making sure that those around you know that you want to chat? It only takes a bit of eye contact and a smile.
I also use this in other situations at networking events. When I see others who look like they are having a bad time I want to go over to them and make them happier, just a little smile can make them realise that this event isn’t as scary as it may seem (I know I’ve needed a grin from someone in the room, especially at the big events!). I make sure that if I have felt a certain way somewhere, I put into practice what I would have needed. Whether it’s going over and chatting with someone who has stayed by the food for 20 minutes or someone who looks like they are in a conversation they can’t get out of.
Another thing I always think about is how I look at the event. I am a person who wears dresses, so I ensure that I am wearing a quirky (and business-like) dress as this is what I am most confident and comfortable in. Being confident and comfortable is the first thing I need to think of when going to an event, as otherwise this will cause havoc even before I get there – if I am uncomfortable, others will notice, they will see it in your face, attitude and may see a person they’d rather not speak with.
What do you wear to events? Do you have a common style and is it right for the event you are attending? For example, if I go to an event on a boat, which surprisingly happens a lot, I need to wear warm clothes, this doesn’t have to hinder on my style though! I make sure I am dressed accordingly but remain business-like and true to my “Hannah” style. This may sound one-sided but this is something that is a little tougher for men to get to grips with, however, I have noticed (and chatted with) some fantastic business men that truly do have their own networking style. I see them in their regular jeans and smart, quirky shirt. They may be the type who wears an amazing pinstripe suit with a fun tie – whatever it is, you need to remain confident, and boy do they!
What does appearance and a smile mean to you?
Who has attracted you to come and speak with them at networking events?
Hannah Liversidge: Is the Founder of Amethyst PA and also runs “Get Virtual” consultations to help ensure our clients make the most of outsourcing being virtual. Hannah also looks after key clients and remains the first port of call for all tasks and connect with new clients through networking. Connect with her on twitter: @amathystpa or visit her website http://amethystpa.co.uk/