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Did you know your body language speaks at networking events often before you even open your mouth to speak? How you stand, look and carry yourself

body language awareness tips networking events

all give an impression of you.

Since body language communicates 55% of the image you convey to others at any type of meet and mingle event, it’s essential to have an awareness of your own body language. You want it to be an asset, not a hindrance, to help build rapport and connections with others.

So, here are 9 body language do’s and don’ts to be aware of at networking and meet and greet events to help convey that you’re confident, approachable and friendly.

  1. Do – have good posture. To convey confidence, stand up straight, with head up and shoulders back. Even if you wear the best designer clothes, poor posture can detract from a confident image.
  2. Do – stand in a V-stance when talking with one or two others. This body language deportment makes the conversation group convey a friendly vibe when others see the “opening” in the V.
  3. Don’t – fold your arms across your chest. This makes you appear closed off, unapproachable and possibly a bit defensive. It’s best to keep your arms and hands loosely at your sides to appear open and approachable.
  4. Do – avoid nervous mannerisms, such as placing your hands in your pockets (men), touching your hair or jewelry (women) or chewing on gum.
  5. Don’t – lean against a pillar or chair; this communicates nervousness. It is okay, however, to lean in slightly for a handshake or during a conversation to project greater warmth.
  6. Do – give a firm, but not bone-crushing, handshake to convey sincerity and trust.
  7. Do – give good eye contact to show respect and indicate that you’re listening. Avoid glancing over a person’s shoulder for someone “more interesting” to talk to.
  8. Don’t – glance constantly at your mobile phone. This comes across as rude, communicates nervousness and doesn’t endear you to anyone.
  9. Do – smile. It’s an invitation to interact and shows you’re a friendly person.

It’s essential for every business professional to have an awareness of his or her own body language at networking events. If you keep these 9 body language tips in mind at upcoming networking and meet and greet events, you will convey greater confidence and warmth to others and build rapport more quickly  .

You may also like to read: How to Make Small Talk: 5 Tips.

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer and speaker. As an authority on etiquette and protocol issues facing today’s global business arena, she shares engaging and interactive content with corporate clients from a variety of industries across the United States. She is the etiquette expert for Fox23 in Tulsa and has been quoted or featured in local and national media outlets including Forbes, Money and the Washington Post.