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13 Networking Mistakes

Dan Woog and Zac Frank

9. Being a Wallflower

Men and women with contacts and power meet many people; they remember only those who stand out from the crowd. Be assertive, and act like a leader. But don’t go overboard. You want to convey self-assurance, not obnoxiousness.

There are simple body language cues that can convey this subtle message:

  1. Always make eye contact. Looking at the ground or off into space says you either lack confidence or are not interested in what your contact has to say.
  2. Be the first to offer a handshake.
  3. Don’t fidget. It screams, “I’m nervous!”
  4. Avoid saying “um” or its equivalents. You’re actually saying that you’re nervous or don’t know what you’re talking about.

10. Passivity