How to Stop Being Socially Awkward at Business Meeting

Meeting new people or sitting with your higher-ups can give you the creeps, and, if you are like most people, make you feel awkward. It isn’t easy to endure the cold and serious stares in a business meeting environment or the drab and austere theme of a business meeting room. Makes you feel like you are in a shark’s tank. But here is the good news: you can overcome your social anxiety! So, how should you go about it?

Identify and Overcome the Spotlight Effect
Numerous studies indicate that people often overestimate some attention people give them, a phenomenon psychologists fondly term as the spotlight effect. If you understand this phenomenon, you can figure out how to conquer it. The first thing you need to know is that you are nearly the only person paying attention to your mannerisms, appearance, speech and other nitty-gritty. The rest of the people in the room or hall are too engrossed in their world to care. Therefore, know the limelight isn’t on you, and stop fretting and fidgeting too much for nothing.

Socialize Often
The sages say that practice makes it perfect. When you do not talk to people often, you will forget how to talk to people. You might be socially suave, but if you go a long time without exercising your social skills, you’ll be edged out. Therefore, it is very important for you to get out of your comfort zone and exercise your social skills often. It naturally follows, then, that you’ll be more confident at networking events and business meetings.

Get an extrovert as a friend. Extroverts are outgoing, loquacious, and socially amiable. They ache to socialize and meet new people. Therefore, you’ll be forced to meet new people. And, most importantly, you’ll have at least one person you are comfortable with. Or, you can make it a habit to strike conversations with strangers. It’ll seem weird at first, but you’ll learn the ropes the more you do it. After some time, these simple habits will help erode your social awkwardness.

Look at the bright side
Don’t walk into a business meeting expecting to fail. It will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you want a positive outcome, then you need to be positive. Remember all the times you succeeded socially, and that will imbue you with the courage to succeed in your next business meeting. A positive attitude is a trick. Keep in mind that there are likely to be individuals who are socially awkward as you are in the meeting you intend to attend, and that will help put you at ease.

If you faithfully do as advised above, then you’ll soon surprise yourself at how socially suave you’ll turn in business meetups.

5 Tips for online business Networking

Online Business networking allows you with your business to collaborate with other business partners in your industry and share similar personal or career interests.

When done effectively, online business networking is a key factor to acquiring information, increasing your online presence and establishing a strong connection to help your business move forward. Here are the tips for a successful online business networking.

1 . Understand your Network
Get to understand the network you’re targeting first before jumping into how the other person can help your business move forward. It is easier to find information about anyone or anything online.

When you learn about a person’s life, interests, and accomplishments, it helps you to know him or her better so that he can help you move ahead and it forms a basis for a real connection other than just skipping over to the business part only.

2 . Use social network channels such as Twitter
Using social networks is a creative way of reaching out to people than cold calling or emailing them. When a person looks at your social account, he or she can know who you are, what you do and what your interests are before deciding to connecting with you. This feels less threatening than receiving a call or an email from a person you have never met physically.

3 . Provide more value
Online business networking is based on giving value to others .People will be more responsive if you’re willing to help them with something they need help with.

When starting to network, hesitate from the objective of making sales (because this is perceived as being exploitative) but instead focus on establishing a long-lasting relationship and then how to explore opportunities

4. Be consistent
It will be easier for you to start online connections, but maintaining them at the intimacy level requires commitment, relevancy, and consistency. Getting new network connections is a good thing, but if you don’t stay in touch with them is a waste of time.

But also if you only contact them when you need something, then you’ll be less relevant, but instead sharing with them regularly makes you more relevant. Send them an email just to say hello or to share something useful. When they see your name, they will feel happier and know that you care about them.

5 . Work on your online profile
Bill Corbett Jr, the president of Public Relations, Inc says “When you network online, people look at your profile, and if it doesn’t reflect an expert status, it is easier for them to neglect it ”. Therefore, by improving your social network profiles, plus sharing more content regularly will help you to develop a stream of new relationships which can be explored for opportunities.

Online business Networking is necessary for your career and for the opportunities to give and receive assistance from experts in your industry. So, the above tips are intended to helping you establish professional online business Networking.

Rules for Creating Effective Business Cards

A business card is not just a plain rectangular piece of paper that just lists your name & contact information. An effective business card can actually give a glimpse of your personality to a person you give it. Therefore, you should get your business card formatted in a way that it shows the reflection of your personality.

The following are some important rules that will help you ensure that your business card compliments your personality and your business as well.

Should Contain Most Crucial and Relevant Information
You should avoid including all personal information on your business card because this will make your recipient lose the attention due to the overload of the information. You just need enough to make yourself interesting enough to the recipient. Therefore, you should avoid all the unnecessary information and just keep the most important information about you on the card.

Ensure the Card is Legible
You should avoid using font styles that look too casual or whimsical. You should ensure that the font style that you want to use on your card is not too fancy, small, or distorted. Using fonts that are too small, fancy, or distorted can make your business card difficult or hard to read. However, you can add the logo of your business, which can add more interest.

Avoid Covering Up the Whole Card
You should avoid full coverage of the business card unless it is absolutely necessary. You should also avoid using a glossy material for the card. It is impossible for the recipient to note down something important on the card if it has no room left to write or there is glossy finish on both the sides.

Get the Cards Printed Professionally
Although BIY cards for business are cost effective, they do not make a very good first impression. Your business card should look sharp and professional, so it is best to get them printed professionally.

Design for the Audience
You should design your business card that should be able to address your audience, not confuse them. The information, design and the font should be crisp. You should avoid using anything that could confuse your audience.

Use the Options of Special Finishing Carefully
There are many special options or features that help in getting your business card noticed such as rounded corners, folds, foil accents, embossing, and unusual sizes. However, you should consider using a feature that is somehow related to your brand or business, not because you find it cool.

Include a Call-to-Action
You can include a crafted short message in your business card that could tell the recipient about some discount or offer or directs him/her to your company website.

A good business card can make either a very good or a very bad impression on the minds of your recipients. Therefore, it is very important that you design your business card very carefully.

Here below, we’ve posted a video on more tips to create beautiful business cards:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Objectives for Business Networking Events

Business networking events and mixers are a great way to meet others, and make important connections to build a successful network. Chamber events, organized business networking meetings, and official grand openings are just some of the many places you can meet key contacts. However, are you making the most of these contacts when you meet them? The process of business networking is simple enough on the surface, though most business professionals fail to make favorable impressions during these events. Though many have good intentions, professionals sometimes do more harm than good in some networking environment. The reason for this is simple: most business professionals have very few of the skills necessary to network effectively. The following are some business networking objectives that can help you be successful during business networking events:

The overall goal is simple: Relationships
Build key relationships with other professionals. To do this, you need to let go of the sale and develop a good rapport. Be interested in what he or she has to say, and ask some general questions about his or her business.

Do not sell yourself or services at the event
This sounds unusual I know, because the purpose of going is to get business. Everyone there is trying to sell his or her services. However, the problem is there are no buyers at events. Instead of looking for ways to sell your services, provide referrals, tips, and ideas to others to help them be successful.

Create a reason for follow-up with others
When providing some tips or referrals, offer to meet with your new contact in the near future to discuss how the two of you may work together to capture more business. Remember, people like to do business with friends, so build a friendship with your new business contact.

Do not just hand out your card or flyer and leave
At every event, one or two people think the goal is to hand out cards. This is a huge mistake. Build rapport with someone, and find some like interests. Offer assistance, and work toward a meeting later where you can speak about your products and services.

Always have cards to share with others
Cards should be professionally printed on nice card stock, and ensure they are in good condition when given to others. When you exchange cards, write some brief notes on the back to remind you of the meeting. Notes should include date and place of meeting, as well as some personal details and perhaps some info on how you may lend support to the fellow networker. Avoid using cards printed in a computer, handwritten, and cards with incorrect or missing info. Such cards provide a poor first impression, and tell others you are not a professional.

Make sure to follow-up with your contact immediately 
Email the individuals you met, and continue to lend support to solving a simple business challenge. It is also a great idea to call him or her, and seek opportunities to meet to share business resources in person or during a scheduled phone call. Finally, sending nice to meet you cards in the mail is a very effective and often forgotten skill. You will set yourself apart from many networkers, and you will leave your new contact with a very favorable impression about your personal character.

Always remember that building rapport with your new contacts is the most important step in networking. People tend to do business with individuals that they know and trust. If you keep the focus on others, learn about their business, and build a solid rapport, they will likely ask you about your business and then you will have created a very solid business prospect.

Always remember to be more interested than interesting, and you will attract individuals who want to know more about your business, and how they can help you to succeed.

Benefits of Marketing Your Business on Instagram

You’re probably all too familiar with the benefits of social media marketing and advertising as a business owner. So, why is it so important that you diversify and why should you be using Instagram as a method to reach your present audience and a potentially new audience? Let’s consider a few of these benefits for your business, when you integrate Instagram, alongside your other social media platforms and marketing tools, for business success.

1. Reach
In 2010, less than 50 million people went on Instagram daily; today, over 500 million are visiting the site daily. What that means for your business is that you have a chance of reaching a much broader demographic than in the past. The sheer number of visitors daily means your present followers are going to share, discuss, comment, and otherwise, help get your product/service out there. It’s free advertising and free word of mouth endorsement by sharing images/videos on the site.

2. Connection
Facebook and Instagram are connected. Therefore, your Instagram followers are going to trickle down into Facebook. This will lead to other platforms like Twitter and Snapchat. You are going social, without having to share, tweet, like a comment, etc. on every social platform. You can rely on Facebook data to target your demographic niche and audience which is interested in your product/service. This is a great time-saver for businesses and allows you to seamlessly integrate across multiple channels.

3. Diversify
Who wants to see the same photo daily of a product in development? You wouldn’t, and it is likely your audience doesn’t want to either. The beauty of Instagram is the ability to share in multiple formats. Photos, carousel ads, paid for and free marketing ads, video ads, and content, and story ads (just to name a few). The more diversity you throw out there for your followers, the more they are going to engage. And, the greater the returns for your business.

A major benefit of Instagram is that it is a free platform. You can easily share photos and share via multiple platforms with a simple tweet (email ad, Youtube video, or other social sharing platforms). As a business owner, it is a viable tool which will help you grow. And, the freedom, liberty of expression, and ability to reach across multiple platforms, and millions of people with the touch of a button, are some reasons your business should integrate Instagram as a marketing/advertising tool if you already aren’t doing so.

5 Tips for Effective Communication at a Meet-up

Effective communication is a very important aspect to any meet-up that you may come across in the daily life. It may be a meeting between co-workers, family, teammates or even friends. For every party to get contented after the meeting, communication has to be successful. The following are some 5 great tips on how to communicate with others effectively to ensure your meeting was a success.

1. Pay Attention
It is vital to be attentive to the other person if you want to be listened to properly as well. Good listening skills involve using of correct gestures such as nodding at appropriate statements and asking for clarification where a point is not clear. It is also in order to avoid distractions such as cell phones and laptops. The devices should be put away since picking calls or replying texts during a meeting often depicts lack of concentration.

2. Show confidence
You should display confidence when communicating and people will certainly take your message seriously. When your colleagues discover any lack of seriousness and uncertainty, when you are talking to them in the meet-up, they will probably treat the information with disregard and thus poor communication.

3. Use simple words
People tend to be diverse when it comes to vocabulary. Thus, for effective communications with your colleagues, friends or team members, it is appropriate to use simple words that can be understood. Use of ambiguous will lead to misunderstanding as well as time wastage on explaining the meanings of the complex words.

4. Get straight to the point 
When you have a chance to speak in the meeting, avoid unnecessary repetition and take your audience straight to the crucial part. Rambling on may lose people along the way such that by the time you get to the most important message they will be unable to pick it out. Ensure to emphasize on the key message through your detailed explanation. Take all the feedback positively and clarify appropriately where necessary.

5. Be positive
In case you disagree with someone about any point they have, it is advisable not to give a negative response. There are polite ways of showing disagreement without rubbishing what your fellow has said. A good example is asking questions that will lead to a constructive conversation. When the members of the meeting are positive minded, effective communication certainly follows.

The above tips are easy to follow and helpful for satisfactory conversations in meetings. Using them guarantees you constructive and effective communication for a successful meeting. Check out the below video for powerful communication skills.

How to Dress for a Business Networking Event

You should look sharp in a business networking event. Wearing a crisp formal dress can enhance your overall appearance and at the same time, help you in looking more serious and professional. However, you should try to look professional not like someone who is doing some research work at the library. Instead of dressing like you want to impress everyone, you should consider dressing up for your dream job. It will help you in feeling more confident as well as happy. What you wear in business events speaks a lot about you, and you would want to look smart and polished.

There are studies that suggest that strangers in business networking events start assessing each other as soon as they see each other in one room. Therefore it is wise to wear something that could encourage others to start a conversation.

Formal Wear
You can consider wearing formal clothes in a business networking event because formal clothes can make a person more professional and serious. Additionally, formal clothes can make you look sharp as well. Studies say that a person wearing formal clothes is more likely to be taken seriously than a person who is wearing casual clothes. Formal clothes make a person look simple and professional at the same time. This makes them easily approachable. Similarly, this will also help you to approach someone as the other person will automatically know that you are a serious and professional kind of person.

Add a Little Appeal
You can also consider adding a unique tie or scarf to the outfit that you are wearing. However, you should also make sure that you do not appear too casual or flashy. It should make you look wonderful and give you confidence while approaching someone at the event. You should look as confident as the president of your company, not like a usual underpaid staff. Your clothes can help you stand out in the crowd and at the same time, make you look just like a face in the crowd. You should dress in an interesting way that should make you want to talk to yourself. Sometimes it is better to wear a piece, which holds some sentimental value to you. This will help you feel more confident.

There are usually a large number of people who attend business networking events. One of the first things that they will notice about you is your appearance and your clothes. You should focus on displaying a professional and polished look. You should show some of your pleasant personality too, through your dress.

How to Make a Good First Impression

During meetups, a first impression has the power to make or break a business deal. Most people judge you within the first seconds of meeting you. Apparently, the impression you create when business networking is 93% independent on what you have to say. You never get a second chance at making a first impression. Therefore, it is essential that you make good use of the single opportunity you have to impress. In this article, we review the best-proven techniques on how to make a good first impression.

Dress Appropriately
Most business networking events usually set a dress code for its attendees. If this is the case, then adhere to it, as it will help boost your confidence and prevent you from looking out of place. If there is no set dress code for the event or meeting, then remember to dress modestly with simple makeup and jewelry. Think of what you want your outfit, makeup and jewelry to suggest to your client. If you want to show professionalism, then an official outfit will do. It helps to put the outfit together and seek the opinion of a trusted friend on exactly what comes to their mind when they see you in it. Remember, if you show up shabbily dressed, then no one will take your business pitch seriously. Statistical research actually shows that 55% of your impression depends on your physical appearance.

Mind Your Body Language
Even before you open your mouth, your body language may betray you or encourage your client to listen to what you have to say. The first thing you ought to do to create a good first impression is smile genuinely. Not only will it improve your confidence, it will also make you look easily approachable, which is a character most clients crave. Maintain an upright posture, with your chin up when walking, and as you approach them, offer a strong handshake. Sloughing, dragging of the feet and looking feeble usually come out as being unconfident and inexperienced about what you have to offer. Maintaining eye contact when speaking to your client will show your confidence, which indicates great knowledge and experience in your field of work or business. How do you learn the body language of others? This is also important to learn as you meet your potential clients.

Know What to Expect
It is often good practice to know exactly what you want from the meetup, as well as what the client expects. Make sure that you are knowledgeable, skilled and experienced enough in terms of whatever will be included in your business pitch. This will not only make the whole networking experience smoother and easier. It will put you out as someone who is serious about what they have to offer their client. Researching about your client prior to your meeting will ensure that you know exactly how to play with your words to impress them beyond doubt.

Be a Good Listener
Listening is a skill that many people may ignore, but it saves you in most situations. If you allow your client to talk while you listen before giving your genuine opinion, they will know that you have their best interest in mind and that you respect their opinion. Listening before speaking will give you the chance to think critically about the client’s desires and preferences, and in turn allow you to judge and make right decisions based on them. When you speak, be interesting and show interest in the subject matter. Although, keep it concise and clear to avoid your client’s attention from veering off in the middle of the meeting.

Making a great first impression is not rocket science, but given our busy schedules, we may forget some of the important tips when business networking. The above tips are vital in making a good first impression and capturing our clients’ and customers’ interest. However, if you experience an unfamiliar situation during business networking, you should learn to trust your instincts; they are created to guide us in the right direction.

Watch out for mistakes:

Setting Up an Unforgettable Meeting

Does the sound of meeting bore you? Probably it does and by hearing it, you can already imagine long boring talks and a painful arse from sitting in that tormenting seat. But hey, who says that meetings can only be nothing but dull? With an adventurous and creative mind, there are in fact so many things that you can do to make that assembly awesomely unforgettable.

Place is a restaurant

When you plan on gathering people in the office or seeing clients for a very important talk, do not limit your vision with the four walls of the room for a venue. Skip what’s traditional and venture into something non-conventional. It does not always have to be talks and bottles of water. Consider a place with a good ambiance where you and your client can relax while discussing important points. A quiet restaurant can be a good example. With a place like this, you will be able to stress out your concerns at the same time be comfortable and enjoy sumptuous dishes. Now, how can some talks and great foods be boring?

Place is the suburbs

Next is, think of how monotonous it is to be in one place all the time. If the budget is good, why not consider an out of town escapade? If you are the boss of a company, you can make use of this getaway as not only an avenue to discuss important matters but probably for training and seminars as well. Through this, you can deliver what you want to say, develop more competent employees and send a message to everyone that you appreciate all their efforts. This is a treat that everybody will surely remember; and mind you, happy people make good outputs!

And Sports

Another way to an excellent meeting idea is to let out that athleticism from you. Think of sweating out and enjoy the excitement of sports. In choosing this type of idea though, you have to be very considerate of the person you have an appointment with. Research about the person’s interests well. Unfortunately, in a case where you are the one in need of something or the one trying to close a deal, you will have to pick the sport that the other party is greatly interested in. And you might also be prepared by giving away that game. Well you know, to make the opponent really happy and grant the purposes you have for the meeting. So are you already thinking about those golf clubs of yours?

Finally, how about something that is really out of the box? Perhaps you can consider looking into hobbies and use these as options for the next meeting. Figure out the hobby that you and the person you are to meet enjoy. Who says that you can’t talk about important matters while doing something you love? You can go fishing or just plain boating; or why not treasure hunting or maybe just animal hunting. If you have opted for the latter you might also want to secure necessary tools like long range rifle scopes to complete the feel of that experience. That is just an example that you probably might be interested in.

You see, meetings don’t really have to be stiff and non-engaging. Truth is your options are endless. All you have to do is to leap out from that box you settle your mind into. By doing important gatherings or assemblies exciting you will not only be doing your subordinates or clients a favor but yourself too. It’s like achieving your objectives without the pain of boredom.