Being confident is about projecting a charismatic and engaging brand that is compelling to other people. So, confident networkers are those that generate more success because they are highly compelling as people. Other professionals are more likely to listen to them, understand their message and amplify it to others. The more your message is spread, the easier it will be for others to think about you when new opportunities arise.
Here are three practical strategies to help you become a confident networker:
1. Practice your message.
The more confident you are that you know your stuff and are ready to take on the world, the easier it will be for others to see it in you. Before you head to networking events, practice your introduction in the mirror, to friends, and on video so that you can see exactly what other people are seeing. This will help you tweak your message to make sure it comes across the way you want it to.
2. Focus on your body language.
When you get into a networking situation or interview, I want you to think one word to yourself: relax. When you focus on not appearing stiff and tense, you’ll be better able to project that you’re comfortable with yourself.
If confidence is a real issue for you, an amazing way to trick yourself into thinking that you’re more confident than you are is to adjust your body language. When you change your stance, you actually change the way your brain thinks about the situation you’re going into. TED speaker and social psychologist at the Harvard Business School Amy Cuddy discusses just this in her popular TED talk: Your body language changes who you are. I recommend watching it now to learn how you can fake it until you make it!
3. Visualize success.
Another amazing confidence exercise is to visualize yourself at a time when you were at peak confidence. Think about an instance when you were performing exceptionally well and felt sure of yourself, your strengths, and your experience. Remember what this feels like and get yourself in a state of confidence that will help you communicate with impact.
4. Be aware of how you come across to other people.
The best way to make sure you’re making the right impression is to keep tabs on the people you’re talking to, whether that’s in a networking or interview scenario. Check in with their body language and level of engagement. If they appear like they’re not listening, trying to rush the conversation along, or not contributing, then it may be a good idea to switch the subject or, if you’re in an interview, ask them if they’d like you to clarify anything.
Do you have any surefire strategies to help others become confident networkers? Let me know in the comments section!