Monday, December 7, 2015

7 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd

With tons of holiday parties to attend and maybe some new contacts to follow up with in the new year, what can you do to make sure you're winning people over? Most of us know it can take only 2 seconds to make a first impression. And that almost 90% of that impression is made through your nonverbal communication - body language and vocal tone. But did you know that it can take up to 12 visits to undo a negative first impression! There's a lot of advice out there about how to network but here are 7 tips you may not be doing. 

  1. Start before you open the door - Many of us walk into a room planning to scope out the situation and then adjust accordingly. By then it's usually too late. I say start visualizing yourself as a shining star before you even leave your house. Our impression is formed from the inside as well as from the outside. Before you walk through that door; read a series of affirmations, a list of positive adjectives or invent a super confident alter ego to do your dirty work.
  2. Adjust your focus - It's super important to focus on how you are going to engage, communicate with or inspire the people in the room. Do NOT focus on what they are going to think about you! Set the intention of finding people you can help instead of looking for people who can help you. (And on a related note...)
  3. Be curious! It will make a difference!  At a recent networking event, I was approached by a woman. I was curious about her embossed name tag and commented on it. She launched into an explanation about the tag. Told me what she does. Told me some recent accomplishments and promoted something else she was doing. She then smiled and said it was nice meeting me and walked away. NOT ONCE ASKING ME ONE QUESTION! Don't be that woman!
  4. Dress your strengths - What's the one quality about you that you just love? Make one style choice that reflects that quality. I recently attended a women's networking group in New York City and was one of 4 women out of 30 wearing COLOR! Yes, I was also wearing the ubiquitous black, but I threw on a bright red flowy rayon sweater that communicated both my passion and my easy going nature. Instead of dressing for success all the time, dress to Express.
  5. Become a flasher - an EYEBROW flasher. By simply raising your eyebrows quickly upon entering a room, you signal that you are a friendly, positive person who is also excited and exciting. People will feel friendlier and warmer towards you.
  6. Stand in your power - Posture speaks volumes. Yes, mom always told you to stand straight and there's something to that. However, you don't want to stand military straight cause that can be off-putting. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, a slight bend in your knees and your weight slightly forward. That gives you a solid base and pitches your body slightly towards the person you're addressing. And try to keep your torso fully visible. Folding your arms or any other gesture that covers your torso communicates insecurity. Comfortably displaying your torso shows your confident and trustworthy. 
  7. Channel your inner Barry White - The voice is the second most important part of an effective first impression. You can do all of the above and then open your mouth and totally blow it. Speak from the diaphragm and lower your pitch, that goes for men and women. Lower pitches automatically sound more authoritative and confident. Avoid up-speaking - making everything sound like a question and avoid speaking too softly or losing energy at the end of your sentences. for more about voice, I contributed to a recent article about the voice. Is Your Voice Annoying? 

Practice all seven of these techniques and I guarantee you'll be unforgettable! Let me know how it goes!!

1 comment:

  1. Great advice Robin for all our holiday (business and personal alike) events!


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