Networking. It is an important tool necessary to expand your career possibilities and prospects. Just expanding your social circle in general gives personal power and influence. Getting to meet the right person and making a name for yourself requires you to be able to stick out from the rest of the crowd. Whether it be a business meeting, a political function, or just a party in general, owning the room is key in establishing a presence. Here are the keys and steps in taking control of every room you walk into:
1) Body Language
Smile! Bring that positive energy straight from the beginning. Whatever is holding you back from showing a happy persona, let it go for the moment. Now is your time to shine and attract. Be the alpha character in the room. Standing up straight with your shoulders back, making and maintaining eye contact, and giving firm handshakes with every individual you meet shows confidence and purpose.
2) Break the Ice
Make a comment, ask a question, introduce yourself. Do something within the first few seconds of entering the room. Break the ice with one or a small group of people. Look for those that look uncomfortable being alone or bored. Look for ones that look open to new participants in their discussion. Get a general feel of the atmosphere right when you walk in a room.
3) First and Last Name
Introduce yourself my your first and last name. Why is this important? Doing so gives the hint that you are a not just another face in the crowd. Introducing yourself by your first and last name brings emphasis that you are someone with a name that carries importance. In addition, giving your first and last name sticks out more and is more easily remembered compared to just the typical ‘John’, ‘Matthew’, or ‘Chris’ introductions.
4) Always Carry Business Cards
You never know who you will bump into nowadays. Always carrying business cards will get you recognized as a professional in the city. One reason is that it shows that you are business-oriented and not all play. It gives a greater impression when meeting new people and carries more personal weight than the typical name and number on a sheet of paper. Having cards with your contact information already listed is a much more convenient, professional method.
5) Converse Smoothly with Intellect
Know what you are talking about when speak on a subject. Don’t use filler words such as ‘uh’ or ‘umm.’ Act like you are the authority on any given topic. If you don’t know much about a particular subject, show interest and ask questions. Listen constantly and acknowledge every person’s viewpoints. No matter what, show interest in any individual speaking no matter how much the crowd may outcast him. This raises your personal attraction and value.
6) Make Others Come to You
Did I say smile? Show that radiant energy constantly from the second you walk into the room. Attract others by your confidence, wit, and charm. Focus on others, compliment them, and show a high amount of interest in anything and everything. Downplay what you do but still make yourself out to be of relative importance…which then makes people want to know more about you. Speak up with a powerful voice to know what you are talking about rather than a voice of weakness and uncertainty.
7) Establish a Presence
Find the right balance. You don’t always have to be with people to own the room. Take a break, sit, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Anyone that has been wanting to talk to you now will see an opportune time to approach you. That being said, make yourself easily approachable. There are many other things you have to find the right balance for. Too weak vs. too strong of an approach. Too intense vs. too relaxed. Too talkative and rambling vs. too quiet. Too confident vs. too shy. The list goes on and on.
Striking the balance and feeling your audience is key to owning the room and establishing a presence. Make yourself known.