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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!

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.

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.

Ottawa eSAX Networking Recap: October 2014

eSAX Netoworking Ottawa Recap October 2014

We’ve had about a week to recover from a fabulous night of networking last Wednesday at the Ottawa Marriott. The event was held Wednesday, October 8 from 6-9pm. This eSAX networking event was particularly special to me, as it marked my “one year” anniversary as a networker. Last year the October event was held at Lago Bar and Grill, and while we had a beautiful view of Dow Lake and the fall foliage then, this year topped that one with the great view of Downtown Ottawa!

eSAX attendees rode the Marriott elevators up to the 28th floor where they were greeted by our Accountapotamus sponsors manning the registration tables. If you were pre-registered you could be checked off the list and after you put your business card in the fishbowl for a chance to win a door prize you headed up the stairs to the 29th floor! If you didn’t pre-register you simply had to pay the $30 charge and have your name added to the list.

The mood was instantly set as soon as you stepped into the room. Dynamix Productions had AV displays and lighting set up, and Sax Appeal was playing the smooth jazz tunes. Each attendee was given a swag bag, courtesy of new eSAX sponsor Creative Equilibria. In each bag was marketing collateral (including an eSAX pen) from businesses that opted to have their information included. This was a great option to get your marketing material directly into the hands of 275 excited entrepreneurs! The swag bags also had programs and tweet sheets printed by eSAX sponsor Sure Print and Graphics.

The 29th floor of the Ottawa Marriott is a circular rotating room. For eSAX all of the booth sponsors were set up around the exterior perimeter, so they slowly circled the room while attendees could walk the floor or step to the side to stay on the stationary platform. There was a cash bar and snacks brought around on trays by the great Ottawa Marriott staff. You couldn’t miss the fun Flashpoint Photobooth setup! Always remember to stop by their display and get your free souvenir photo printout (and code for the free digital download) with your favorite entrepreneur!

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Everyone mixed and mingled and exchanged business cards until our speakers for the night were brought on by Masters of Ceremonies Derick Fage of Daytime Ottawa. First Trefor Munn-Venn of Rhapsody Strategies came out and discussed the importance of earning and establishing trust, and then Michael Hughes of Networking for Results continued this theme with discussing how networking is about making meaningful relationships. The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce took the stage for a bit, and shortly thereafter Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson showed up to give some support and a nice speech to the crowd!

Then there was one of the arguably most exciting parts of the night – door prizes! There were lots of great prizes donated and Speak Easy monitored the tweets all night to announce the top Twitter influencers of the night! Afterwards there was more time for getting in the last bit of networking before it all closed down for the night.

We look forward to the documentary film put out by our sponsor Storyline Productions!

Registration for the January 2015 eSAX Ottawa Networking Event is already available. Make sure to purchase now to take advantage of pre-registration savings.

eSAX is an entrepreneur networking event that encourages startups to create connections, gain knowledge from featured speakers and promote collaboration among regional Chambers of Commerce. eSAX Ottawa Networking events are held every three months to coincide with the Y Enterprise Center’s Ontario Self-Employment Benefit Program (OSEB).

Join the eSAX Facebook Page or connect on Twitter using #eSAX to get the latest news, tips, and networking advice.

Do you have a blog recap or review about your time at eSAX? We would love to include the links here! Just email them to and they will be added to the Event Page!

Infographic: eSAX

Looking for Ottawa networking events to attend, but don’t know where to start or what to look for? This infographic explains exactly what you will get from eSAX: The Entrepreneurial Social Advantage Experience! Events are held quarterly, to coincide with the Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program (OSEB) and encourages new entrepreneurs to get out, meet new people, and learn something new!

Each eSAX event has networking, speaker presentations, and inter-chamber cooperation. These events are set up to inspire new entrepreneurs to connect and to ask questions – you have a better chance of success with more people around you to support you!

eSAX Ottawa Networking Events for Entrepreneurs
Please Share this Infographic with Ottawa Networkers!

 

 

eSAX October 2014 Location Change!

Ottawa Marriott Hotel

(Image Source)

Once a year eSAX moves the Ottawa Networking Event to a new location. I love the Funhaven location, but I also enjoy the fun of visiting a new place and stirring things up. In a way, it takes us out of the “comfort level” we can reach, and it ensures that we never lose that “new” feeling. This is one of the reasons why eSAX is so great at helping entrepreneurs constantly grow, learn, and develop as successful business people.

Jarrod has just announced that this year the October event will be held at the Ottawa Marriott on 100 Kent Street! Not only do we get to enjoy our night at a luxury hotel, but we also get the exclusive benefit of one of the best views in the city from the revolving event venu!

This location does have free Wi-Fi, so don’t forget to live tweet while you are there!

Make sure you don’t miss one of the most fantastic Ottawa networking events on October 8, 2014! Get your tickets now on EventBrite to make sure you reserve your spot!