Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Challenge: How can you make a great first impression during a networking event?

Guest contributor, Lisa DiTullio, shares her suggestions and tips for making the most of your 2 second best impression.

I recently met Ann at a networking event, her name tag read "DIVA". It didn't take long during my brief exchange with the DIVA to form a first impression - not long at all. In fact, according to Malcolm Gladwell, we are able to size someone up in just two seconds - it's the power of our adaptive unconscious. In recognition of Malcolm Gladwell's book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, let's celebrate the power of the glance.

When encountering someone new, first impressions count. This is particularly true when networking with others - you want to leave a positive, memorable impact when meeting for the first time. Through observation and measurement you can improve your presence and connection - ideally to leverage the encounter for lasting value.

Think about your first contact with someone. Do you exhibit the following qualities to make you stand out and be remembered in a positive manner?

1. Confident: Do you inspire others? Do you speak in a sure way? Are you poised and level-headed?
2. Credible: Do you have expertise and can you be trusted? How often can you persuade others?
3. Capable: Do you have what it takes to get the job done? Are you an efficient, effective and expert in your field?
4. Calm: Do you remain unruffled during turbulent times?
5. Clean: Do you have a neat appearance? Can you speak in plain language; get right to the point; present fresh ideas?
6. Charisma: Can you use your personal being, rather than speech or logic alone, to interact with others in a real and meaningful way?
7. Connections: Do you establish lasting relationships?

Everything you do during the first 2 seconds of an interaction speaks volumes, especially your actions:

• Do you maintain direct eye contact during dialogue?
• What do you do with your hands when you communicate?
• Do you face the other person in an "open" pose?
• Can you stand still? Do you jiggle your feet, your knee, or your leg?
• Are you aware of your facial expressions?
• How's the pitch of your voice? Do you speak clearly?

Bring a buddy to the next networking event. Ask your pal to observe you from a distance - solicit honest feedback when the event is over - How did you do? What did you do? Focus on a few improvement opportunities and try again, but make it quick.

Now its time for you to join the conversation - Share your ideas, suggestions and thoughts on what the successful project manager looks like on our discussion on LinkedIn.

Contributor: Lisa DiTullio (Lisa DiTullio & Associates)

ProjectWorld & The World Congress for Business Analysts will take place November 14-16, 2011 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL. Interested in speaking at this year's conference? Click here for details.
Be sure to visit for tools, articles, templates and event updates.

No comments: