Mingle Like A Pro!
By Kimberly Law

If the thought of meeting new people
at a business event sends a chill
up your spine, you're not alone.

For many of us networking is
something we dread. Unfortunately,
these days, it's not what you
know. It's who you know or who
knows you, that really counts for
business success. And even though
trade shows and business mixers
can be intimidating for anyone, they
are also the perfect opportunity
to network and build business
relationships. To feel more at ease
at your next event, prepare ahead
of time, with full stomach, the right
attitude and the right tools.

The buffet line-up can be a great place to strike up a conversation. Spending all your
time there will not make the best impression.

Food is best saved for thought, not conversation. Juggling food and drink can
present challenges when meeting people, shaking hands or while trying to carry on a

When holding a drink, use your left hand. This will keep your right hand dry and
available for shaking hands with others.

Barbeques and ball games are in a league of their own and my warrant drinking out
of cans and bottles. However for most events glasses over bottles are the preferred

Don't forget your networking tools! Bring business cards, brochures or profiles and
wear a name tag.

Name tags should be worn in line of vision. This means on the right, close to the
shoulder. When you extend your right arm to shake hands, the eye is automatically
drawn to that area.

Feeling lonely? Approach people standing on their own, groups of three or larger
groups. When approaching a group of two you may be interrupting a private
conversation and it could become awkward or uncomfortable.

If you are sitting when someone approaches you, show respect and interest by
standing and greeting.

To meet and greet; make eye contact, smile, shake hands and say hello. Introduce
yourself with your first and last name and, if appropriate, state your relationship to
the host.

Don't use nick-names. Listen to how people introduce themselves and follow their
lead. Ask permission before shortening a name or trying out a nickname, just in case
it's not appreciated. Nick-names such as sweetie and honey are never appropriate in
a business setting.

Avoid taboo topics like politics, religion, sex or money. In other words, stay away
from anything personal or controversial.

Ease up on the sales pressure. Instead show interest with questions, small talk and
light conversation. Current events make great conversation when kept

Give and receive business cards respectfully. When a business card is offered to you,
hold it respectfully and look at it before putting it away. When offering your
business card, present it so it can be read, with the printing facing the person
receiving the card. Always wait to be asked, before presenting your business card.

With a little effort and self control, business events can be a fast, fun way to build
your business network.

About The Author:
Kimberly Law, AICI CIP, Certified Image Consultant, specializes in helping clients
make the best impression possible, through personal appearance and behavioral
communication. Sign up for Image Matters & receive FREE reports. I
Consulting, Free Reports.

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