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Body Language for Public Speakers

Divide Eye Contact – Divide your eye contact over the room and look the audience in the eye.

Smile – to make your audience comfortable simply smile at them.  Smiling is our most powerful tool.

Gesticulate – Gesture with your arms and hands in a natural way to keep your audience attention.

Authority and Keep Calm – Demonstrate authority, keep calm and use small fluid gestures. This way people will trust you and view you as a confident person.

Keep your Back Straight – This position will make you breathe better and you’ll feel more relaxed.

Bring Movement to Your Speech – Use the physical space you have available and walk it.

Encourage Participation – Use open gestures and if possible walk around and towards people. We tend to participate more when we have proximity to a speaker.

55% of communication is body language

38% is tone of voice

7% is the actual words spoken.

Step 1: Develop an objective

Step 2: Use the buddy system

Step 3: Just go – even when you don’t want to

Step 4: Start talking

Step 5: Let yourself leave when you want to


by Anna Vital

Ask Insightful questions about

Add Value

Learn their story (assume they have been through a lot)

Break the ice with…


You’ve heard it a million times: First impressions are everything. Small talk is key to getting off on the right foot with someone new. Remember this study, which showed that recruiters are drawn to candidates with strong small talk skills? So, yes, it’s pretty key to your professional growth, on top of its obvious importance in your social life. Use these six tips from the team at IvankaTrump.com to boost your chit-chat game.

1. Remember names.

There’s no such thing as being “bad with names.” Pay attention when someone says their name, and repeat it back to them (i.e., “Nice to meet you, Sarah”) once or twice as you start talking to them. Seeing their face and saying their name out loud will help it stick.

2. Give the long answer.

When someone asks what you do, don’t say “I’m a doctor.” Instead, say, “I’m a doctor at NYU Hospital and I mostly work with children.” You’re giving the other person more to draw from—now they know that you live in New York City and specialize in pediatrics, giving you more to talk about. On the flip side, ask questions that invite a longer answer. Rather than asking a yes-or-no question (“Do you like living in New York?”), ask open questions like, “What’s your favorite part about living in the city?”

3. Ask more questions than you answer.

Draw the other person out. Ask them questions. Give compliments. The key is to be more interested than interesting—no matter how awesome you are, people remember someone who made them feel awesome.

4. Keep it positive.

Don’t complain. Ever! Even if the other person doesn’t seem put off, they’ll associate you with negativity long after they’ve forgotten what you talked about. If they ask about your trip to Italy, don’t mention the fact that your flight home was delayed so you had to take the red-eye and you showed up at work exhausted and it was terrible. Sounds rough, but unless you’re putting a funny, laugh-it-off spin on it, it comes across as pessimistic.

5. Know when to stop sharing.

You don’t want to be so reserved that people can’t relax around you, but bear in mind that these are strangers who probably don’t care that your brother and his girlfriend just broke up. Share personal information that’s not too intimate, but is still relatable enough to keep the conversation going.

This article was originally published on IvankaTrump.com.

by Jessica Mattern

When it comes to networking, you’ve got this. And why are we so confident in you? Because networking is just talking to people. That’s all it is—just talking. Half the battle is figuring out a natural opening line, so here, we’re arming you with 21 ideas for the next time you have an important event on your calendar:

1. “Where is the bar?”

2. “I just have to say how much I love your [dress/skirt/shoes/etc.]. Where is it from?”

3. “So, what brought you here tonight?”

4. “Have you heard [name of speaker] before? What did you think?”

5. “Are you from the area or did you travel here tonight?”

6. “How did you get involved with [name of organization]”?

7. “Think they’re serving appetizers tonight? I have to admit, I’m starving!”

8. “How long have you been with [name of organization]?”

9. “Hi, I’m doing a poll—will you or won’t you buy the new Apple Watch?”

10. “What did you think of [name of speaker]”?

11. “Hi, I’m doing a poll—Uber or Lyft?”

12. “Have you been to one of these events before?”

13. “Do you know if they allow social media here?”

14. “Which cocktail did you order?”

15. “What do you do at [name of company]?”

16. “How did you get into [industry]?”

17. “Hi, I’m [name]. I just wanted to say I’m such a fan of your work.”

18. “Hi, I’m [name]. I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your speech.”

19. “Do you know if there are any good restaurants around here?”

20. “Do you happen to know the person here who organized tonight’s event? I’d just like to thank them.”

21. “Did you come here with a friend or are you flying solo like me?”

By Elana Gross

I used to hate making small talk. I thought I’d get into a situation where I’d have nothing in common and nothing to say. But then I went through sorority recruitment and learned networking tactics that I still use today. Do I still get nervous when I go to a networking event and don’t know anyone? Absolutely. But I do it anyway because I know that small talk can have a big impact personally and professionally. Here are six tips for better (and more beneficial) small talk.

1. Start by just saying hi.

I’ve always found that the hardest thing to do is to go up to someone and introduce myself. Remember: If they’re at the networking event, they want to meet people, too. Say hello—they’ll probably be relieved that you were the one to start the conversation. “Fellow networkers are just as nervous to meet new people and network, kick it off by offering a small compliment to the person you want to speak with. It will help break the ice and start the conversation,” says Emily Merrell, co-founder and owner of the networking group City Society.

2. Know your elevator pitch.

You’re likely to be asked about your career and interests. Deena Baikowitz, chief networking officer and co-founder of Fireball Network says, “It takes time and preparation to create the perfect pitch. Your pitch will change depending on the situation, your goals, and whom you’re talking to.” The most important thing to remember is that if your pitch is generic, no one will remember it, Baikowitz says. Make sure you add your personality.

3. Have a few go-to questions in your back pocket.

Some of my anti-lull favorites: How did you find out about this event? What do you like to do when you’re not at work? Where did you grow up? People enjoy talking about themselves, so asking one or two open-ended questions can usually get the conversation back on track. Merrell says, “I find it easier to maximize the conversation when I am asking the questions and show a genuine interest in their history.” It helps you find a common denominator.

4. Elaborate on your answers.

When someone asks you a question, add (appropriate) personal anecdotes to keep the conversation flowing naturally. “Talk about significant life experiences, career stories, and accomplishments that will give other people a clear sense of who you are,” recommends Baikowitz. Additionally, she says you should “share stories that will make people remember you as a bright, friendly, interesting professional.”

5. Make introductions.

If someone joins the conversation, make an introduction so they feel welcomed and engaged. Introduce them to the person you were talking to and let them know what you were talking about. For example, say, “Beth, this is Jennifer. Jennifer is a reporter at the New York Times. We were just talking about her recent article about Adele.” Now Beth can join the conversation and explain that she’s listened to “Hello” on repeat approximately 1,000 times. Two added benefits to this approach are that people like hearing their own names and that you’ll be more likely to remember names if you repeat them.

6. Exit gracefully.

You want to meet more than one person, so you need to know how to politely end the conversation. Say something like, “It was so nice to meet you and learn more about your career. I’d love to get your card so we can stay in touch.” If the person is alone, it’s polite to introduce him or her to a colleague or someone else you know at the event before bowing out.

by Allyn Lewis

We all know networking is important to having a successful career, but how is networking actually done? Making small talk is not always easy. I keep seeing posts like, “An Introvert’s Guide to Networking” and the labeling gets to me. It doesn’t matter if you identify as an introvert or an extrovert, sometimes striking up a conversation is a piece of cake; other times it’s like pulling teeth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve committed to going to an event that I’m so excited for at the time. Then, the day comes and I’m exhausted to the point where the thought of bubbling around the room passing around business cards seems like torture.

My point is, building a bad ass network takes time, effort, energy, and strategy. Not to mention it’s pretty rare to have all four of these things readily available on one day! Believe it or not, you don’t have to be outgoing to be good at networking, you just have to be a human. There is always something you can connect with someone on. Here are a few of my secrets for not just surviving, but thriving, when networking!

1.) Go to networking events by yourself.

I know *gasp*, yes I said by yourself. When you head out solo, you’re not tempted to cling to your group or the business pal you brought with you. I think there’s something really powerful about the girl on the sidelines, confidently analyzing the room – eyeing up potential connections. She’s comfortable with standing alone on her own two feet without feeling the need to kill awkward time on her iPhone or jump into a conversation with people she’s already familiar with. Hello, the key to networking is meeting new people.

2.) Remember, you are not the only person in the room who feels shy.

By standing your ground and settling in the moment without needing a distraction, you’ll be more approachable to someone else who is struggling with diving into conversations, too. I have made numerous connections being real. I’ll see someone else by themselves and say something like, “Oh my goodness, I’m feeling so awkward. I don’t know anyone here!” Two things have come out of this – 1) they’re like “umm yeah me too” and all of a sudden we bond over the awkwardness we’re both feeling and keep chatting, or 2) the person is like, “I came with a great group over there, let me introduce you to everyone.” No one has ever responded to me saying, “whoa, you are such a loser because you don’t know anyone.”

3.) If that’s a bit too bold of an approach for you…

Give someone a genuine compliment to get a conversation going. People LOVE compliments. It works – every. single. time. Plus, it’s really rewarding to give someone a compliment. I love seeing their face light up and knowing I put that smile on it! It’s as easy as, “I had to come chat with you because I adore your ________ (shoes, purse, suit jacket, hair cut, etc.) You have to tell me where you got it/them!” Last week, I had the pleasure of exploring MAGIC Market Week with one of my clients. I was so excited to connect with all the brands there, but I was nervous they would get ticked off for talking to them since I wasn’t a buyer. Literally all I did was walk to the booths I was drawn towards and gave one compliment on their pieces or products. Every conversation took off from there and I was able to add so many amazing brands to my network that I’ve already started collaborating with!

4.) People love people who listen.

It’s not always about what you say, people love to talk about themselves and their business, so don’t feel that you have to be the one carrying the conversation the entire time, or even the majority of the time. This is one of the many important lessons I learned from reading “Leave Your Mark” and I’m shocked at how true this is. Some days, networking is my favorite thing in the world – other days, my brain feels so fried that I have anxiety over not being able to come up with things to say. So, realizing how important listening is really calmed me down on days when networking seems impossible.

5.) Networking is not just about the people, optimize your efforts to gain more knowledge.

The majority of people are more than willing, and often extremely flattered, to offer up advice when asked. The trick to keep them talking and not being annoying is to ask them advice based off of what they have done. Stay away from wording things that focus on you like, “how do you think I should go about approaching X goal for Y project?” Instead try, “what element do you think was the most important in achieving X goal.” You get invaluable insight from others in the industry while they get to talk about themselves and their accomplishments – everyone wins!

6.) Setting intentions is your safety net.

One thing I do before every networking event is set an intention for what I want to learn more about. It doesn’t need to be specific, it can be just general business topics. For example, my topic for the night might be gaining insight on how other people utilize blogging. I love this because when the dreaded awkward pause comes up, I already have a starting point for what to ask next to keep the conversation going. I just think about my intention and come up with a question depending on how that topic applies to whomever I’m talking to. I might ask a sales rep if they’ve worked with bloggers before to drive sales or I might ask a small business owner if they are currently using blogging as part of their branding and marketing strategy. Even something more general like, “what are your thoughts on businesses having a blog” can spark a wonderful convo!

7.) Keep your personal pitch in your back pocket.

Come up with a few bullet points that make you the fabulous you that you are. Then, work them into the conversation casually. If you already know what your talking points are beforehand, you’ll be able to work them into the conversation without seeming self-absorbed. Talking about yourself is a lot easier when you don’t have to focus your energy on what you need to say on top of how to introduce it. Whatever you do, remember that you’re not pitching and promoting your business (or career). You need to pitch yourself. If someone can connect with you, they will take the initiative to learn more about whatever else you’re up to. People connect with people, and only then will they be able to connect with the business.

8.) It’s okay if you don’t talk about yourself.

Ideally, you want to contribute to the conversation and tell them fun facts about you so they remember who you are, but some days that’s easier said than done. Truth be told, talking about yourself can be the hardest part of networking, but guess what? You can still get so much of everything out of a conversation even if you keep the focus off of you. If you are listening and engaging with what the other person is saying, they will remember that, and thus, they will remember you just from that effort alone. We all know how difficult it is to find a good listener.


No matter what, even if you feel like you have a crappy, going-through-the-motions conversation, you need to follow up, always. After the event, I like to do a quick tweet or instagram comment saying something like, “so lovely to meet you tonight!” Then, I send email followups within 48 hours of meeting that person.

10.) Break it up.

Networking is exhausting. If you’re at a conference or event, make sure you give yourself a few breaks to clear your mind and refresh before jumping back into all the conversations. Another thing to remember – you do not need to talk to everyone in the room. If you walk out with one solid connection that you can say adds value to your network, then that event was worth it. Quality over quantity. It’s fine if you only passed out 3 business cards and not 50 if you had 3 meaningful conversations.

In business, your value isn’t determined by the size of your dreams, the amount of money you make, how many people are on your staff, or the load of clients you’re managing. Your value and how much you are worth (both internally and externally) is determined by your network – who you’re connected to and who is within your reach. Even your skill set means nothing if you don’t have a network of professionals to share them with! Happy networking. =)

By Darrah Brustein

I’ve been called the “queen of networking” for longer than I can remember. At one point, I felt like this was, perhaps, an insult, since so many people think networking is a bad word. But I later realized that’s simply because too many people do it poorly, thus giving networking a bad name.  After countless conversations, speeches, and seminars teaching people how to better network, here are the nine ways that you might be contributing to the bad wrap that networking gets.

1. You don’t get buy-in.

One of the linchpins of networking is the ability to create value-add relationships for others, which begins with an introduction. That intention is pure and necessary. Where the error begins is when you blindly send a three-way email introduction (or worse, just give someone the third party’s contact info) so that you and your original conversation partner know the introduction is coming, but the third party is in-the-dark.

I much prefer to take the extra step of calling or emailing before making an introduction to get the buy-in from the third party. This preps everyone and makes the introduction seamless and more importantly, invited by all parties.

Of course, there are circumstances where this isn’t necessary because you are certain it’s a value-add to both parties and/or you have such a trusted relationship with the third party that you know it will be a warranted introduction. When deciding how to proceed, put yourself in the shoes of the third party and ask yourself, “If I got a blind email connecting me to this person by this person, how would I feel?”

2. You don’t follow up.

Follow up is critical both to keep the momentum going once an introduction is made and to close-the-loop afterward. The biggest problem is when someone makes an introduction for you and you never let that person know what happened as a result. This is a fast way to inadvertently signal to that person that you don’t value their time or that they leveraged their reputation with the other party. Do a quick follow up and share what occurred (as well as to say thank you).

3. You keep bad company.

It’s no wonder that when we were kids, our parents were so concerned about whether or not we were hanging out with the ‘bad kids’. You are the company you keep, both by osmosis and by the perception of others. The good news is, if you keep great company, you get to ride on their reputational equity as well as glean great traits from them. But when we keep poor company, they bring us down and lessen the way others perceive us.  Consider doing some housekeeping.

4. You take too long.

I believe that 24 business hours is the maximum amount of time you have to follow up with someone before you begin to look like you don’t care or think you are too important. We are all busy and pulled in a lot of directions. But your reply can be as simple as, “I’m back-logged on email right now and wanted you to know that I saw your note. I will get back with you as soon as possible, and look forward to connecting soon!”.

5. You only look out for yourself.

One of the primary reasons networking has a sullied reputation is so many people who claim to be “networking” are simply out for their own advantage. It’s best to shift your mentality to being curious when you meet or connect with people. Ask them meaningful questions and really listen. See what you can learn and how you can find connection points. Always ask how you can help them in some way, not with an expectation of what you can get in return.

6. You only think up.

It’s not uncommon to think that the only way to advance is to buoy yourself to people with higher titles or more perceived power. While it’s fine to connect with people who are further along in their careers, don’t forget that there’s also value in meeting people in every direction of where you are in your career trajectory: down, laterally and up.

7. You underestimate the power of someone’s Rolodex.

When you meet someone, you’re not meeting just them, you’re meeting hundreds of people.  As we can see from social media, people have hundreds (if not thousands) of contacts. While some are naturally stronger than others, keep in mind that they are a gatekeeper to the people they know and to whom they could introduce you. Don’t write someone off because you don’t see immediate value.

8. You don’t do what you say you’re going to do.

This is a quick way to chip away at trust and lessen your credibility. If you say you’ll follow up with an email today, do it. If you say you’ll be at the dinner, be there and be on time.

9. You think you don’t need to network.

As someone who hosts monthly networking events in three cities for hundreds of people at each event, I often hear this when I extend invitations. When you say you “don’t need to network”you’re saying you will never be in need of the help of others nor do you want to meet anyone new to help them.

Networking is a fancy word for relationship building, so you’re basically saying that you are happy to live with the circle you’ve created and have put up a wall to anyone else. What you may mean is that you’re not currently looking for something you think you can gain from meeting new people (refer back to point 5) or that you don’t like big events, in which case, express that.

If you see yourself in any of these networking faux-pas, consider working on them in the New Year to expand your circle!

By: Tim Brown

Many of us would find the title of salesperson unappealing. Its connotation may be associated with pushiness, ruthlessness or other unsavory words. Though it doesn’t have to be that way, especially when being a salesperson encompasses much more than just sales.

Daniel Pink, author of three novels including To Sell is Human, argues that regardless of your vocation, everyone is in [some form of] sales. Whether you view yourself as salespeople or not, chances are you’re trying to sell something to someone on a daily basis; be it our product, our thought, or even ourselves!

Given our tendencies to sell without being fully aware of it, we might be better off embracing the idea of being a salesperson and learn tips that could improve our results.

Here are four useful sales tips that will help you in your endeavor to persuade others.

1. Pinpoint a moment of interest

In a salesperson’s world, it has always been true that when you sell something, the timing of the pitch has to be taken into consideration.

As kids, when asking parents for something, catching mom or dad in a good mood was an important detail. The concept isn’t much different as adults, though it is certainly more complicated in today’s digitally disrupted world. People experience a bombardment of brand advertising messages. It’s important to align the timing of your outreach with those fleeting moments-of-interest they have for your product.

For example, if someone visits your website and completes a contact form, it is imperative that you contact them almost immediately.

According to Mark Galloway, CEO of OppSource, a sales development software, a connection with a human being is incomparable to an automated message response.

2. Don’t give up too quickly

People are very hard to reach, given their busy schedules and packed personal lives. Since that is generally the case, you need to be persistent.

If you are frustrated by the lack of response from those you are trying to persuade after a single attempt, you are probably getting worked up way too early. It takes today’s professional eight attempts to get in touch with a prospect.

If salespeople gave up after their first attempt, they wouldn’t be selling much. Take into consideration that it takes most six attempts for a sale conversation. Use the lack of response as an opportunity to work on your patience and stay with in pursuit a bit longer.

3. One mouth, two ears

If you are serious about selling something to someone or persuading them to take action, remember that you have one mouth and two ears. The art of persuasion starts by making the conversation all about the person you aim to convince.

No one likes to be part of a lopsided conversation, especially if there is no existing relationship. The amount of time you should be talking versus listening should be proportionate to your mouth and ears.

We all appreciate when others ask us about us. Let the person you are engaging do the majority of the speaking, and you will have mastered a critical element of persuasion with selling.

4. Always offer value

When you are selling something, you need to consider what value you can bring to the conversation.

It might be something as simple as having done your homework on their interests or knowing the big initiatives they are currently involved in. Offering up insights to them about those areas in which they are interested brings value to your conversation.

So as you think about and prepare for your next opportunity to persuade or sell someone something, remember these four important and often overlooked selling tips. Using them will significantly improve your odds reaching your intended outcome.

By Brian D Evans

One of the make it or break its for a lot of entrepreneur’s is having a world-class network. If you have a strong network, your business can withstand just about anything and opportunities will always come your way. Often more opportunities than you know what to do with, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Conversely, if you don’t have a world-class network, it’s going to be harder in just about any industry.

In a recent conversation with Kevin Harrington (Shark Tank, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, As Seen on TV) at a mastermind event, I realized to a further degree the importance of constant high-end networking. And it’s validated by the fact that someone like Kevin Harrington is still doing 100-plus events a year and networking all over the place even though he is already massively successful.

1. Always be networking.

Harrington is really the poster boy for this. He told me that he goes over 100 events a year between speaking engagements, masterminds, tradeshows, conferences, you name it he’s there.

 And even with an established network as large and high-end as his, he’s still out networking. Now if any new entrepreneur comes along and doesn’t think they need to be networking, this should be a wake-up call that everyone including the most successful entrepreneur’s on the planet are always networking.

And if you haven’t even started building your network, you need to start immediately. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneur’s will directly attribute the quality of their network and the people that surround them to their ultimate success.

2. Here’s where to network.

3. How to network like a pro.

A high-quality introduction will carry you, don’t overcompensate. Far too often, people that get super high-level introductions, go on to blow the opportunity because they came off too aggressive or salesy. The best way to leverage a great introduction is to trust that since you have been introduced by a great source and not try to overcompensate.

This was validated to me when I met Harrington at the mastermind event. He embodied this idea one-hundred percent. He wasn’t salesy or over-aggressive, he just owned who he was and what he was all about.

You should follow in Harrington’s footsteps and always look to find a mutual connection with the individual. If you come off extremely aggressively from the beginning, you may scare off many people.

The more points of mutual connection (i.e. your from the same city, you like a similar sports team, drive the same car, both passionate about the same industries or are both fans of a particular brand) the faster and easier it will be to build rapport.  And after the event or meeting, they will be much more likely to remember you if you built up that rapport with mutual points of interest.

4. Follow up is crucially important.

Networking is not over after the first meeting. To build a quality relationship, it takes many conversations.

In the case of Harrington, I noted that there was one in-person meeting, along with multiple emails and phone calls. And really, this would just be the beginning with someone that you want to build a lasting relationship with.

Make sure to constantly add value to the other person by sending them interesting articles, retweeting their important Tweets, making introductions for them (after asking of course), and paying it forward in various ways.

One parting piece of advice is always to ask before introducing anyone to another person. The most annoying thing in the world is having people constantly introducing you to people you didn’t want to be introduced to. A strong networker always asks before making introductions to others.