First impressions count. If you want to make a good impression, know that you need to project 3 C’s:
- Having a straight but relaxed posture. Hold your head high and steady. Don’t slouch or slump.
- Moving in a natural, unaffected manner.
- Maintaining eye contact with the people you are talking to.
- Exhibiting knowledge of your craft. Know your way around the agenda. Being prepared for the meeting. Bring supportive materials to emphasize your points.
- Answer questions in a clear and professional manner, avoiding the use of slang or technical jargon.
- Asking relevant questions.
- Arriving on time.
- Being presentable (well-groomed and mindful of dress codes).
- Keeping true to your word.
Meeting people can be anxiety-provoking. The need to make a great first impression on another person can be a lot of pressure.
Here are some ways to minimize nervousness while in a social situation:
- Be informed: If possible, take time to research about the people you’re going to meet: their work, values, and preferences. Knowing what is expected from you can prepare you adequately. Nervousness is amplified by going into a situation blind.
- Practice! Practice! Practice: Networking is a skill, which means that you can develop it with practice. Practice your introduction in front of a mirror and note what you need to improve. You can also practice with peers. Get feedback from others about the kind of impression you give. Try to meet as many people as you can! The more you do it, the easier it gets!
Learn relaxation techniques
There are many activities that can help relax a nervous person. These activities include:
- Breathing exercises
- Listening to music.
Identify your triggers
If nervousness is a real problem for you, it is recommended that you identify what triggers your nervousness. Is it lack of confidence? Is it fear of authoritative people? Awareness can help you catch yourself in time and respond accordingly.
Believe in what you have to offer
It’s easy to get intimidated by how successful or famous the other person is. But remember, they’re people – just like you! They would be willing to listen to someone who can offer them something that they want or need. Have faith in your business. Have faith in your personal worth. Adopt the mindset that you are doing them a service, and it’s your duty to not let them miss the opportunity of meeting you!