You’ve invested your money, carved out time in your calendar, but have you considered how to get the most return on your time spent at WBENC’s National Conference & Business Fair?
Communication is your commodity to share at a venue full of potential business and networking opportunities. What you don’t say can often be more telling than polished canned rhetoric. The key is to transform your game face to a game changer.
By learning how to read other people, you will learn how to better communicate who you are and what you can offer. Here are five tips to get the most out of what you communicate to your industry colleagues.
1. Be mindful of body language.
Yes, we all know that a firm handshake, a few head nods, and yogi worthy posture are great indicators of your interest. But, stop to consider the smartphone in your hand or that laptop in front of you.
Put the devices down and allow your brain to be prepared to focus on the person you are trying to connect with. Screen time affects your brain in strange ways, most notably by sending your thoughts in a million different directions. Take notes, but try writing things down on paper. Be aware of the look on your face! Your end goal is to make connections and maybe get some business; your life is not at stake, and while its natural to be anxious and feel pressure to speak with as many movers and shakers as possible, relax and be happy!
Stress shows on your face and in the slouchy pose that has you wrapping your arms around yourself bracing for the encounter. Breathe; let your shoulders move below your ears where they belong and smile a natural smile.
2. What you don’t say can say a lot.
The minute you arrive at the conference, consider all encounters important. From the venue staff to innocuous strangers surrounding the registration area, you never know who you may be speaking to or ignoring for that matter.
Though it may be your natural instinct to avoid eye contact with those people you share space with on an elevator, resist the temptation. Prepare yourself to be ‘on’ no matter what you are doing during conference time.
This doesn’t have to be a daunting task; it is a practice in awareness of everyone in your surroundings. Many people have said that the people they’ve met on a break during a session or bonded with over a wrong turn toward a workshop turned into a long friendship.
3. Know your communication style.
There are a handful of communication styles, but the only one you need to know or be concerned with is ‘assertive.’ This style has the biggest rate of return for your message and medium. Learn it, know it, and use it. Make it your goal to be assertive in your style.
These skills render you likable because you can accept a compliment, speak directly about what you want or need, give an opinion, and be emotionally expressive. Your volume is pitch perfect for your audience and you appear relaxed, astute, and confident without seeming aggressive. It is possible; try it.
4. Learn about people (without appearing overbearing).
The irony of getting information is to avoid asking a ton of questions. You are not a reporter looking for a scoop; you are looking to make real connections that can be fruitful for the long term.
Be a listener and be interested. Ask a question when you have a genuine interest and just be engaged. All that positive, assertive, and positive body language will only open the line of communication more and foster a natural rapport.
5. Follow up.
When you have made a connection with someone, don’t squander it. Compose a timely message that shows you are truly interested in pursuing a business relationship. Be sure that each party knows what is expected for a next step. Will you meet for coffee? Will you have a meeting with a proposal for business? Do you plan on collaborating ideas for future projects? From small to monumental, any step towards long-term communication is paramount.
Priority Project Resources
Priority Project Resources is a finishing, assembly, and mailing services agency for custom-designed business goods and messages. PPR has over 20 years of experience delivering client’s products to customers with superior accuracy and speed, never missing a deadline or making a promise they can’t keep.