No one wants to be “that guy.” You know, the guy who is not aware of the body language of those around him/her and goes about doing his thing regardless.
At networking events, reading the body language of those you are talking with is a key component to building relationships. People arrive at these things from all different walks of life and from all kinds of different home life situations. You might come all pumped up, ready to tackle that key super connector that you’ve done some research on, however, when you arrive you notice he or she doesn’t seem particularly in a chatty mood. You see that everything about their body language screams, “go away!” You try and make eye contact and they look away. You smile and they seem to look past you.
Don’t take those kinds of things personally. We all have days when we are more approachable than others, don’t we? Your new connections will too. If you tried to forge ahead and engage them in a chatty conversation anyway, you likely will be “that guy.”
Simply find someone else who is giving off the approachable vibe. Not a big deal. You’ll get another chance.
Likewise, if you are talking with someone and they suddenly seem distracted, are looking over your shoulder, or seem to have something else on their mind – wrap up your conversation and let them go. You’ve made a first step and you can try to pick it up at another time. Again, the key is not to take it personally. You don’t know what is on their mind, but you can read their body language.
Conversations have a natural ebb and flow. When you become practiced at engaging in them, you’ll feel when it is time to stop. Politely act on that. Always thank them and let them know that it was nice to speak with them. Repeat their name as you do. “Well Mike, it was so great to meet you. Thanks for taking the time to chat.”
Networking: Learn From Their Body Language
Body language communicates much. Reading body language begins with intentional awareness that through body language, the other person is communicating something going on inside. It may have something to do with you – or it may not. Responding appropriately to the body language of those around you is an important part of becoming a great conversationalist. The better conversationalist you become, the better your results from networking events.