Now we are in the midst of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (taking place from 12-19th February in New York City), there has never been a more important time get our networking techniques in order. In the fashion world it is imperative to realize that there are potential opportunities around every corner and if we are afraid to reach out for them we will only have ourselves to blame.
Therefore, Boon Models (one of the most prominent up-and-coming modeling agencies in New York ) have put together for you a list of very basic body language styles and gestures to help you look like the kind of person that everyone will want to work with:
And ‘oldy but a goody’, the smile is the most widely recognizable form of positive body language that anyone can take on. It transcends the language of happiness and positivity throughout any culture worldwide. Therefore, you should consider it your most valuable tool when it comes to networking. After all, and there is no point in making people feel intimidated to approach you. That would be a ‘game over’ situation before you’d even begun.
2. Be ‘Open’
It’s amazing what our body language can say about us without us realizing. Therefore, in order to make yourself seem a friendly, accessible person you should make a conscious effort to stand or sit upright with your shoulders as open as they can be, being very careful not to cross your arms.
3. Eye Contact
This is a really important thing to consider, not only when you are actually talking to someone but also before they approach you. It is a proven fact that if you use more downward eye contact then people will think that you lack confidence and be less inclined to want to speak to you. Whereas if you are willing to engage in eye contact you are showing that you are a friendly approachable person.
You should, however, be careful not to use too much eye contact once you’ve struck up a conversation because this can also have an adverse effect and seem quite off-putting and intense. A good trick is to try and pretend that you’re chatting with a friend or perhaps a family member who you wouldn’t have to worry about any weirdness with… This trick will help you to relax a bit more and more importantly stop you weirding people out!
4. Nod your head
This, like eye contact, is another one you need to be quite cautious with, seeing as you shouldn’t be too overzealous and repetitive with your nodding. However, if you smile and gently nod your head whilst speaking to people you will subconsciously be reassuring them that you’re taking on what they’re saying.
5. Back away from the phone
Sorry guys but cell phones are a complete put-off when it comes to networking events and make you look introverted and unapproachable. Of course if you have to use them for work then that’s fair enough but if not then put it away in your bag and enjoy the benefits of real-life face-to-face interaction.