You’ve pencilled in your calendar a networking event for the following week. The task is simple: going there, shaking hands, exchanging with people, sharing what you do, listening to what they do… but you’re so bored with this event… even if you know it’s important for your work to attend, you are simply exhausted just thinking about the all-too-usual-type-of-replies you will hear, and the closer the networking event is, the more you feel you will drown like a fish in a stagnant pond… stale water thickening your thoughts…
… still you have a few days left and 10 tips on the window of your aquarium…
ONE – Know your breathing rhythm. Your level of energy seems on the downside, and oxygen not as freely flowing through your body that you would like. Explore different type of breathing, especially in the morning. For this you can search on the internet for “Breathing Yoga”. If you prefer simply go for a 45 minute-walk several times a week. Focus in breathing through your belly, with long expiration, this will help you to think a bit less. With this tip we are actually working on self-awareness, overall brain health and management of emotions (which is part of emotional intelligence).
TWO – Learn to be in the moment. How can you know what will happen at the event since you are not there yet? We are back to the “Self-fulfilling” prophecy effect. Being in the moment is incredibly powerful for engaging with the actual factual information we receive through our 5 senses, the rest is interpretation. With this tip we are still working on self-awareness, management of emotions and expansion of our model of the world (by recovering factual information).
THREE – Explore the range of your capabilities. Right, there is nothing to rehearse here, still there is an impression to create, maybe a charisma to generate. Think about the type of “physical presence” you want to create, and for this to happen you need to be really comfortable in your own skin. Apply Amy Cuddy’s information. Have fun speaking out loud with different voices and body stature. Explore all the impression you can give and find the one you really want to give. With this tip we are now working on self-awareness and self-confidence.
FOUR – Explore the world of emotions. This still tallies to the impression you want to create. What are the words you chose pre-supposing? What are the emotions you spontaneous express telling? What emotions are you bringing with you to the events? We know that if you go there “already bored and tired”, people in front will see you as someone “tired and bored” and nobody want to connect with someone “tired and bored”; we are back to the self-fulfilling prophecy. With this tip we are working on self-awareness, emotional intelligence and self-confidence.
FIVE – Know your content. And your content here is your intention. Take a moment to identify your intention for this networking event and prepare accordingly -is it just about meeting people and adding one or two new names on your referral network -is it about using your new one line pitch on your project -is it just about enjoying spending time with people -is it actually about meeting someone specific. With this tip we are working on self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem.
SIX – Visualise the outcome you want to create. Rehearse in your head the perfect networking event, with the best ever possible outcomes. Remember to incorporate sensory information –what will you feel? See? Hear? Smell? Taste? With this tip we are now working on self-confidence, self-esteem and expansion of our model of the world (by expanding possible outcomes).
SEVEN – Acknowledge existing emotions. Tips four and seven are actually linked and both assist in developing our emotional intelligence quotient. Tips eight and nine are also part of developing this quotient. So you are bored… But what does that feeling really want to tell you? And what positive learning can you learn from it? With this tip we are strongly working on developing emotional intelligence, and this is going to build up our self-awareness, capability in managing emotions, self-confidence and self-esteem.
EIGHT – Use the power of reframing. How can you reframe this upcoming event that you can move from bored to excited and impatient? How can you reframe the actual emotion that lead you to feeling bored, to something else? With this tip we are of course working on self-awareness, management of emotions, but more important flexibility and adaptability, which will increase self-confidence and self-esteem.
NINE – Learn to listen. What if you were to spend the evening only listening, and therefore asking some great follow-up questions which will let out of the all-too-usual-type-of-replies you know by heart? With this tip we are still working on emotional intelligence and self-awareness; we also working on global awareness and increasing our skills at connecting with other, which always built up self-confidence and self-esteem.
TEN – Bring humour into the picture. And here we are back to “learn to laugh about yourself” which is an incredibly powerful quality. With this tip we are of course working on self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem; we are also strengthening our growth mindset and expanding our model of the world.
Gregory Baterson -this fascinating English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist, and many more- wrote this amazing sentence “the meaning of your communication is the response you get”. Listen to the response you get and learn from it.
So here we have 10 tips to develop self-control and flexibility as a speaker, and 10 tips easy to apply in the context of preparing for a public interaction. You remember the 11th tip? Practice these 10 tips regularly that they become unconscious competences, like an innate talent. Especially now that you know what skills you are actually working on with each tip… skills of self-leadership. See you tomorrow with our next episode “Exercise: the unexpected”.
You like our blog series, Speak like a Fish, exploring public speaking in 21 days. Join us then early 2017 and discover our eBook Speak like a Fish, 30 days to crack the aquarium. Contact us to pre-order your eBook.