On Thursday 21st may 2015, at Lotus @ Pataya bar-Lounge in Victoria Island, YAP&E – Young Adult Professionals & Entrepreneurs held another social networking event for forward looking Lagosians looking to expand their network.
Young Adult Professionals & Entrepreneurs, popularly known as YAP&E, have created a forum where the ambitious and go-getting businessman and woman as well as the corporate professionals, can mingle with like minds within & outside their fields.
The last event was another successful outing as the attendees enjoyed the benefits of socializing and intermingling in a relaxed atmosphere. When you find yourself in such an interactive and engaging setting, how do you maximize your time with each individual you interact with? How do you leave a positive impression and standout from the crowd?
Below are 10 result-orientated ways you can make your time at a YAP&E social networking event both rewarding in the long-term and memorable. People will always judge you and your business by how you conduct yourself. So pay close attention.
Prepare ahead of time: Don’t just get up and go! Get yourself acquainted with existing networks already associated with the brand. Call up the organizer to get a feel of what to expect. Preparation reduces anxiety and this helps you display more authority on arrival. It helps you relax and interact better with people you meet for the first time.
- Arrive early and ready: Trust me those few minutes of punctuality are vital. They give you time to check your appearance and gain your composure before getting sucked into the event. Make it a habit to always schedule extra time to account for travel time, traffic and other unforeseen contingencies.
- Dress up nicely and impeccably: You don’t have to purchase the most expensive outfit in the stores. Invest in timeless, classic pieces and know the occasions that best suit what. The key is to feel good in what you wear. The more ‘confident’ you appear, the more likely you are to leave a positive impression.
- A proper posture is crucial: In most scenarios, it’s always advisable to sit up straight, don’t fidget or bite your nails, and ladies don’t twirl your hair – it shows nervousness and tells signs of being insecure. Relax. Don’t be too rigid and look like a robot. Allow your real personality to flow and do the work.
- Remember the names of the people you meet: Don’t be a snob; it’s a put off. If the name is tricky, you can ask the person to spell it and don’t forget to smile. Show genuine interest; and ask genuine questions about the meaning of the name to help them relax. And always address the person by their name throughout the conversation.
- You have to be a good listener: Focus on building relationships, not selling something. Concentrate on getting the person to talk about him or herself. Show genuine interest in them and you win their attention and trust. Remember to pay a nice compliment about their appearance – only if there is something nice to say. Otherwise don’t fake it. People can tell when you fake things like compliments.
- Be authentic: Communicate your ideas simply but with passion. People appreciate authenticity so it is very important that in communicating what you do; you share your passion about the subject. Let them see why you enjoy providing the services that you create and why you chose to be the solution provider for that particular problem. Paint a vivid picture of your beliefs about what you do – people will always remember a good illustration.
- Try not to brag: Be careful not to talk too much about yourself; this includes namedropping. That too is a put off. Don’t get blacklisted – you don’t want that to happen, not when you are trying to expand your network. Know your weaknesses and curb it accordingly. Try to nod if you don’t have anything meaningful to contribute. Silence is powerful, if you know how to use it.
- Smile and make eye contact: Make sure you always smile, especially if you forget your icebreakers, trust me a smile will always save the occasion. Somehow you can always find what to say with a warm smile. Also maintain eye contact. Try not to get distracted so they don’t feel unappreciated.
- Close on a good note: Show that you really had a good time and possibly would like to catch up again. People want that reassurance. When you keep them wanting more of your energy, you set yourself up for good breaks in business as well.
Finally, remember preparation and passion are key. The next event is in June, YAP&E will be holding another sensational social networking event, (see website for details www.yapande.com) again, don’t just get up and go. Instead take time out to decide what sort of impression you will like to leave in the minds of those you connect with. You never get a second chance to make a first impression so be determined to get it right the first time. You are welcome to use tips from this article.
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