Work That Room! Make Mingling Work For You!
Mingling is an essential business skill. Mingling well demonstrates that you’re a friendly, open, and engaged person who is interested in other people. Mingling poorly shows others that you’re either unsure of yourself or such an egoist that you will not and cannot listen to others.
Whatever the event or opportunity you have to seize it or someone else will. Never ever spend all your time talking to one person; you want to circulate. Other people will be anxious about mingling and will welcome your efforts to make conversation.
The following tips show you how to make the most out of an event and be a good representative for Brand You;
- Be prepared. Know what you want to accomplish at the event — to meet a number of people, find a particular resource, or get noticed.
- Remember to carry business cards and exchange them when appropriate.
- As you circulate, make sure you politely excuse yourself from the conversation. To say nothing as you exit is considered rude.
- Hold your drink in your left hand so that if you are introduced to someone, you don’t extend a cold, wet hand to shake.
- Always avoid making negative comments. You don’t have to lie, but never slander your employer or colleagues. Even if you think the company is mismanaged, keep it to yourself.
- Do not overindulge either with alcohol or food. People will always remember drunken behaviour and these events are not food eating contests! Your behaviour reflects who you are – loose talk and not talking because you are eating costs business opportunities!
- Introduce yourself and others properly. If possible, learn the names of the attendees and the appropriate way of making an introduction beforehand. If name tags are available, wear one.
Make eye contact, give solid handshakes, and try to speak to people you haven’t met before. You never know what doors may open for you simply because you made the effort to greet new people. While making small talk with a new group of people, the worst thing you can do is keep glancing around for someone better to engage in conversation. This is seriously rude – when speaking with someone give them your full attention — no wandering eyes!
Keep the conversation light. If you see the potential for a fruitful business discussion, hand the other person your business card, and say you will call her to make an appointment to continue the conversation.
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