Lydia Vargo, Senior VP of Elevate at ChicExecs, shares tip on how to quickly break the ice in a business setting on Forbes blog. Here are highlights from the article.
Whether you’re hosting a meeting, chatting at a networking event or learning at a conference, here are a few ways to connect with people in a professional setting.
1. Set expectations.
Nobody wants to go to a meeting or hop on a Zoom call without knowing what it’s about. If you’re the meeting organizer, it is on you to establish expectations. For one-on-one calls, make it clear who is going to call whom to avoid confusion. For virtual meetings, clarify whether the camera will be on and make sure everyone has a Zoom link and agenda at least the day before.
2. Be punctual.
Remember, this is all about making a great impression. Even if it could not be helped and you meant to get to the meeting on time, it’s hard to break the icy gaze of attendees who have been waiting on you for 15 minutes.
3. Smile with your eyes.
People can spot a fake laugh a million miles away. If you want business associates to open up to you, you need to smile with your eyes. The people you’re speaking with can easily tell if you’re there in the conversation with them—or if your brain is somewhere else entirely.
4. Mirror body language.
Humans are social creatures, and that means that we tend to gravitate to those who match our own behavior. In a meeting, it’s a good idea to mirror everyone else’s body language, which will subtly imply that you are on the same wavelength.
5. Listen to their opening words.
If the person/team you are meeting with claims that they only have a few minutes, then it is not the time to ask about their weekend. Every minute counts, and you now know where you stand. Get straight to your strongest points, and if they suddenly “have more time,” then you know you are on the right track.
6. Ask questions.
Asking questions shows that you’re paying attention to the actual person and people you are meeting with. By inquiring about their recent projects and accomplishments, you will establish a foundation of respect that can easily be built upon.
7. Dress to impress.
You probably already know this, but meetings aren’t the time to whip out your ripped jeans and two-day-old T-shirt. You never know if what seems to be a casual introduction turns into the biggest deal of your life. Whether it’s a virtual call or an in-person meeting, always make sure to present yourself in the best possible light.
To read Lydia’s entire article, click here.