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Think Of Networking As A Long-Term Goal

Today our #AskTheFedora video encourages you to look at networking as a long-term goal.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Transcript:

How do I find the time to balance all the networking events and follow-ups that are required? This is what I treat as a full-time business. It’s people. Because people buy into people. Take the time to respond to every single e-mail that comes your way since the other person took time to write you, it just seems like a courteous thing to do to reply. I spend a lot of my time replying to people, following-up with people, connecting on LinkedIn and entering everyone’s information in my database. I don’t know if it’s going to get me a gig this week, but it may in 6 months or a year from now, especially if you see them at regular events you’re going to continue to build this relationship with people.

Interpreting Body Language at Networking Events

This week our #AskTheFedora video looks at How To Interpret Body Language at Entrepreneur Networking Events!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Transcript:

Of all the networking events I’ve been to, the one thing I’ve really come across is that picking up on body language is so important as a networking skill. Next time you’re at an event, look at the person, look at the way their standing, their tone of voice, if they are looking over your shoulder to see if there is anyone else in the room to connect to. What I’m paying attention to at a networking event is the non-verbal body language. Then you can adjust the way you talk to that person. If they are very shy, you don’t want to be in their face, you want to stand off to the side a little bit. Because eSAX Makes Networking Work!

Don’t forget to register for the next eSAX Ottawa Networking event!

Some Tips To Remember Names At Networking Events

Today our #AskTheFedora offers some tips for remembering names at networking events!

Transcript:

You go to a networking and someone tells you their name and all of a sudden it goes right out your other ear. I’m really bad at learning someone’s name. What I try to do, (if they are wearing a name tag), I’d suggest you do not just stare down at their chest (that doesn’t look very good from either party). If you’re talking to someone and the person looks away for a second then I think it’s ok to quickly look down to see if you can catch their name. I always try to look for something a little bit different about the person. Maybe they have a really cool pair of glasses, or they are wearing a really neat belt, and I’ll try to equate what they’re wearing to their name. Yes, it might be a little tough next time you meet them because they might not be wearing the same thing, but the more you see someone, the more likely it will be that you can connect their name to them.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Networking and Eye Contact

eSAX-Networking-Ottawa-Eye-ContactFor some, eye contact can be a strange thing. It can be intimidating, or it can feel very intimate, considering the general wisdom that eyes are a “window to the soul”. Eye contact is an important type of nonverbal communication which many believe can show mood and intention, and it is an important aspect of conversation and gauging the responses of those you are conversing with.

Considering your eye contact technique before a networking event can be a great way to help yourself have one less thing to worry about when you arrive. Understanding eye contact can not only help you to better interact with people, but it can also help you to read other people’s reactions to you and those around you.

The “Right Way” to Engage in Eye Contact

If you have ever wondered “what am I supposed to do with my eyes when I’m talking to someone?” then this is the section for you!

First off, relax! If you come at someone with an intense stare or darting and nervous eyes then you will only distract and unnerve them while harming your chances of a great networking connection. Many people may read your nerves as a sign that you are untrustworthy, so do your best to feel confident and self-assured.

When you are engaged in a discussion with someone it is important to maintain eye contact both when you are listening and talking. Keep your gaze non-threatening and non-aggressive by focusing on the middle area of the person’s face. You can focus on just one eye, as it is actually physically difficult to keep both of your eyes on another person’s two eyes. Try focusing on one eye, or on a spot on the face, or calmly move back and forth between the two eyes. Keeping your focus on the bridge of the nose or on an eyebrow can also give the illusion of eye contact without your conversation partner never knowing the difference.

When you do break your gaze, make sure to show a smile, nod or other gesture to indicate that you are still interested in the conversation and not breaking off because you are looking to get out. It’s great to take a moment at networking events to scan the area and see if there is anyone waiting to talk to you, but be sure you don’t spend your whole conversation looking away.

Whatever you do, don’t overthink it and forget to actually be present in your conversation. Practice eye contact so it comes naturally and so you can be a focused listener and good communicator.

Beware Nonverbal Eye (and Eyebrow) Cues

Some nonverbal cues to be aware of include:

  • People who maintain longer direct eye contact are generally more comfortable with you, and this often indicates that they like you
  • But too much eye contact can indicate annoyance, anger, and discomfort
  • A flash of the eyebrows (a quick up-and-down gesture) indicates recognition and some degree of fondness for someone else (think of when people say “oh, hey!”)
  • Lowering of eyebrows shows dominance and aggression, while raising them signals submission
  • Head down, eyes diverted shows ultimate submission
  • “Side Eye” is the sideways glance with lowered eyebrows and a turned down mouth, which shows suspiciousness and hostility
  • Rapid blinking shows nervousness, slow and lazy blinking shows a feeling of superiority or disinterest
  • Darting eyes indicate the person is looking for a distraction or escape route and is a sign of insecurity
  • Staring at the “third eye” area of the forehead indicates an attempt to gain control, keep people on their toes and inferior

It is important to always look straight ahead and maintain eye contact as there are some misconceptions about eye contact that people commonly believe and judge others based on. These include:

  • Looking up while talking indicates lying
  • Looking down while talking or listening indicates confusion
  • Shifting eye contact shows hiding something

Don’t forget to adjust your mood!

You may be great at eye contact, but did you know that your pupils can give you away? Research shows that not only do wide pupils indicate excitement and narrow ones indicate negative feelings, but people also prefer other people with wide pupils to those with narrow ones.

This means it is ever so important to make sure you talk yourself into a good mood and excitement before you go to Ottawa networking events. eSAX is such a good one to start with because the casual atmosphere and presence of many other new entrepreneurs creates a low-pressure place to get out and practice.

What’s The Purpose of a Business Card

Today our #AskTheFedora discusses the purpose of a business card.

Transcript:

You walk out of a networking event with 30 business cards…what do you do? After many years of trial and error, I decided to put everybody I ever met on a database. On that database, I include where I met the person, what was said, when I followed-up with them. And then I connect with the person on LinkedIn. Then the business cards ends-up in a box. I rarely look at them again. The purpose of a business card is to get you to follow-up with somebody. Put them on a database so that you can easily access that person’s contact information in the future, to not only connect with them yourself, but to send referrals to other people.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

eSAX-networking-ottawa-business-branding

Network with a Brand, Name, and Logo You Love

eSAX-networking-ottawa-business-brandingLast week we talked about your business cards, but let’s take a step back and talk this week about branding, naming, and your logo.

Strong Branding Creates Strong Connections

When most people hear the word branding, they think colors and graphics, but branding actually goes deeper than that. It includes logos, naming, taglines, and even your elevator pitch along with the other graphics, and it is about what your company stands for, in an all-encompassing way. It starts when you sit down to write your business plan, and it grows out of your mission and vision. You also have to take into consideration your products or services, as well as your target market. You have to feel confident that your feel your branding represents your business, and you also need to be sure that your audience is interpreting your message the way you intend it. Once you’ve worked this out, you can then work on the visuals that you will use consistently in your traditional and digital marketing.

A Memorable Business Name is Important

There is a lot to consider when you are naming your company. Aside from the obvious, that you want something that matches what you do and is easy on the ears, you also have to research if the name is already used anywhere, if the domain (and social media IDs) are available, and also if the shortened version or acronym are used (you don’t want anyone to confuse you with anyone else). It is best to bounce names off of people, because what makes sense to you may not have the same effect in the marketplace.

Stunning Logos Make You Noteworthy

You are the face of your business, but your logo is the graphic representation of what your business stands for. You may choose something that is easy for people to instantly understand, or you may choose something abstract that has a story behind it (make sure to share that story in the About section on your website). If you aren’t a visual person you can turn to a professional who has tons of experience in creating impactful logos. Remember that you (and your customers) are going to have to look at this image a LOT over the years, so you better like it! You should also feel convinced that it is the perfect embodiment of your business. Everything from the bold or elegant design, to the choice of color and typography should be well thought-out and considered before you make a permanent decision.

It is entirely possible to attend networking events without having set your branding, naming, and logo, and in fact, it is encouraged to attend events like eSAX: The Entrepreneurial Advantage Experience because this is exactly the type of low-pressure atmosphere that will let you have conversations about how they settled on their branding, or what they think of a few naming ideas you are considering. It is also a great place to find marketing experts who are more than willing to give you advice that will help you move forward with your branding, naming, and logo process.

Network with Great Business Cards

eSAX-networking-ottawa-business-cards-blog-marcheSAX-networking-ottawa-business-cards-blog-march-jpgWhen you prepare for a networking event there is one essential that you can’t overlook: your business cards!

Your business card is as important as any other first impression at a networking event in Ottawa. Your card should represent your company in both design and copy. It is highly recommended to use a professional graphic designer to help you, as they have the skills and expertise to make something truly great. One of our favorites is a local Ottawa company called Sure Print & Graphics that we have been using for many years. However, there are many templates available on sites such as CanvaVistaprint, Moo, and even Staples, if you decide to go it alone.

Consider the following elements of a business card to help you work with your designer or templates to make something great!

  1. Decide on what information you will include. Remember that this is a contact card, not a brochure. At a minimum you should include your name and your business name, your email address and website, and a phone number if you have one. Also include your, address (if you have one for your business), title, and tagline.
  2. Consider whitespace. This is the “empty space” on your business card. Cards with ample whitespace are often seen as more professional, as they are more visually balanced and less cluttered.
  3. Typeface: There are certain fonts that go well together, and a general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t use more than two together in any collateral. Remember this rule if you have a logo with typeface in it, because that means you’re already starting with one font! Talk with your designer about the mood or feel you are going for in your business, and decide on fonts that best represent you.
  4. Paper stock: Do you choose Matte or glossy? I personally prefer glossy business cards, because they don’t stick together when you are trying to pull out one to hand to someone! Glossy is thought to look professional and to stand out, but they are hard to write on so you may consider a plain back so your contacts can take notes of your meeting. A popular trend now is spot gloss, as it is beginning to be more widely available. This lets you choose one area (such as your logo) to shine, while the rest stay matte. Also remember that premium stock is a thicker card, and helps portray a professional image.
  5. Add a promotion: At a networking event, people value business cards, but you can increase the value of your card by adding a special code for a discount or promotion. You could also ask them to fill out a survey to get entered in a chance to win in a draw, or maybe you are giving away a whitepaper if they visit your website. Any of these “extras” increase the chances that people will look twice at your card once they are home.
  6. Unique shapes and textures: An oddly shaped or textured card can be fun, and can help you stand out from the crowd, but be careful when deciding to do this. People may not be able to fit your round-shaped or wooden card in their filing system, and the may instead just decide to toss it out. This is a loss for of a valuable referral opportunity for you down the road.

Plus, it’s also very important to be organized with your business cards when attending networking events!

Whatever you decide, make sure you are proud of your business cards. If you are happy with them, then it will be easy for you to hand them out and stand behind them. Your business cards should be an extension of your business, make sure they help you appear your best!

Ask the Fedora: Some Smart Networking Tips You Should Use

Today our #AskTheFedora shares some smart networking tips you should use!

Transcript:

My philosophy to ‘smart’ networking is when you go up to someone for the first time, please don’t just say “here’s my business card; you need me, I’m so great and I’ll make your life so much better”. No. The purpose to a smart networking event is to connect with someone in a way that’s not a sales-pitch; that’s not a way to get them to hire you on the spot. To me, the smart way to network is to ask them questions about themselves. People like talking about themselves. It makes you in a better position when you become a good listener. That’s a very important skill in networking and I encourage you all to try talking less; listening more.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

How To Follow-Up With People After A Networking Event

Today our #AskTheFedora explains how to follow-up with people after a networking event!

Transcript:

After a networking event you walk out with 30 business cards…what do you do with them? I realized three or four years ago when I was starting out that it was starting to become a really big pile. I kept going through my rolodex or plastic pages and quickly realized this wasn’t sustainable so I decided to put everyone I met on a database. What I do with a business is to see if I’ve me them before. If yes I update their record, if not, I create a new entry. What I do is send them a customized e-mail. “It was really nice to meet you at (insert name of event)” and then anything particular about that person…if they play music, or if they have a hat or something so that I can relate to them to develop that relationship with them. Then, I invite them to connect on LinkedIn. “Dear so-and-so, it was nice meeting you at the event would you like to connect on LinkedIn”? It’s important to keep in touch with them and continue developing these relationship so that next time you see them at a networking event it’s easier for them to make a better connection with you.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Mastering a Great Handshake for Ottawa Networking Events

eSAX-Ottawa-Networking-Events-Handshake-GuideOne of the most important, but often overlooked, part of successful networking is the handshake.

The origins of handshakes are interesting. They were originally a sign between medieval knights (or ancient Greeks, depending on who is telling the story) to show that they were approaching each other unarmed. Handshakes have remained a way in which people broker relationships, seal agreements, and otherwise commit to honorable action.

Nowadays handshakes are common in business networking, and is one of the few forms of physical contact that we experience in the networking world. It is good to have a solid handshake because it is part of the all-important 90 second “first impression” that people make of you, and a lot can be communicated through this one action.

Handshake basics:

  • Extend your right hand, palm vertical to the ground. If you want, you can tilt your palm slightly toward the sky to indicate openness, humility, and the desire to help.
  • Handshakes should be dry. If you have a problem with clammy hands try to wipe them off before you shake. Men can get away with carrying a handkerchief in their pockets and discretely drying their hands before they shake.
  • Use a firm grip, making sure not to be too weak or too strong.
  • Pump the handshake two or three times from your elbow and forearm, not your shoulder or upper arm. Water pump motion is uncomfortable, jolting, and aggressive to your partner.
  • The handshake should last 3-4 seconds, and should end before your oral greeting does.
  • Signal you are ready to release by relaxing your hand, but if your partner is a longer shaker just hang in there until they are done. You can come off as rude by pulling away before they release.
  • Remember: not everyone likes to shake hands! If you are unsure if someone wants to shake hands then it is okay to pause and wait for them to extend their hand or not.

It’s not just about the hand-to-hand contact! Other important parts of a good handshake include good eye contact, a warm smile, confident posture, and a step in toward the person you are making contact with (without getting too close). Also remember that if you are sitting, you should stand up to shake hands as a sign of respect. Greeting before and during the handshake.

Neuroscience has proven time and again that an impressive handshake leaves people with a better impression of you. Now, this doesn’t mean certain actual personalities use certain shakes, but this doesn’t stop people from making assumptions. Make sure to avoid these handshake “types”:

Handshake types to avoid:

  • The Crusher: Both the “finger crusher” and “bone crusher” variety happen when your grip is too strong. Seriously, don’t crush someone’s hand! If you squeeze too tight they will likely spend your whole pitch time thinking about the pain in their hand rather than actually listening to what you do. These people come off as well-meaning, but overenthusiastic person.
  • The Dead Fish: This is what people call the handshake that has no grip and no pumping action. It is basically placing your hand in theirs. People with dead fish handshake are perceived of as unemotional and apathetic with low self-esteem.
  • The Monarch (also known as Lady Fingers): Offering of just the fingertips shows either superiority, or extreme shyness. Can often be accompanied with the “polite pinch”.
  • The Double Hander (also known as the Politician): Using your other hand to clamp on to the top of their hand, or to even grab their elbow. This is too much contact for just meeting someone. It can make you seem overwhelming, overbearing, and too intimate. It can also make you seem too eager to sell something.
  • The Palm Down (or “Coming from Above”): When your hand ends approaches or ends up on top of the other person’s it appears you are attempting to be authoritative and coming off as aggressive. This can sometimes start as a normal handshake and turn into “the twister” when the other person’s hand ends up on top.

Practice your handshake on friends, coworkers, or colleagues and ask them for their honest opinion. It might seem silly, but it is a great way to find ways to improve if you’ve never gotten feedback from anyone on your handshake. It’s the best way to figure out your grip if you are otherwise unsure! You will have a great handshake for Ottawa Networking events in no time!