There are two types of communication that occur at a networking event – verbal and non-verbal.
When attending 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 all important but what about the things you say without words, the non-verbal communication.
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 other will not be. So all the planned, prepared and practiced words in the world will not have the desired effect and potentially great opportunities will be missed.
|The Danger Area||Your Non-Verbal Communication||Your Message||Perceived Trait|
|Attending||Turning up late
|Networking is not important
You can’t be bothered
You are better than others
Your life is more important than others
|Appearance||Scruffy/dirty shoes, stained ties, bobbly woolly jumpers
Hems down, buttons missing
Inappropriate dress ie short skirts, low cut tops, medallions…
|You’re not bothered and not professional
You’re a ‘Jack the Lad’.
You’d rather be somewhere else
|Materials||Cheap business cards
Hotmail email addresses
Poor grammar and spelling mistakes
Frantically giving out business cards
|Quality is not important
You rush things
It’s all about you
No Attention to Detail
You’re a Taker
|Follow Up||Spamming the email list
Not following up on what you agreed to
|You’re all about you
Your word has no value, you do not deliver
The answer is simple and the same as for verbal communication – plan and prepare in advance!You may have very valid reasons for being late, dressing inappropriately, using a hotmail email address or not following up, but others won’t know your reasons and will read this non-verbal communication in a negative way.