So, I'll be talking on
*Building Your Network*

*Don't Be Boring: How To Connect With People And Make Lasting Impressions*
So, in your careers, you'll forever be faced with the challenge of meeting new people.
I know so many people who run away from networking.
Maybe because they are shy. Or for some, they don't know what to say. For some, they have a very serious low self esteem.
 Confidence is everything.
But, I can tell you for free that if you don't work on this, you'll be missing out on so many good things of life.
Some people are so smart, so good, but cannot handle themselves in such situations. And so they lose out.
When you walk into an interview session, the vibes you give off matter a lot.
And let me add a second part, *sometimes, you may never get a second opportunity to make another impression*
I'm sure we've heard the saying '*First impressions last long*
So, don't go and mess up
When you are trying to network with people, you've got to be smart about it. If you mess it up, you might just have messed up your chances forever.
There’s no such thing as second chances when it comes to making a great first impression. Whether you like it or not, it only takes a few seconds for people to make an opinion—and often, it sticks.
 So, you must make those few seconds count!
Research shows that people make their first impressions of you in just two seconds, so there’s really no time to lose. You must make that two minutes count.
I always say this whenever I teach *Humans are first emotional before they are logical.*
Please never forget this. Ever
And these emotions can be as simple as - how you smell, how you are dressed, how you walk, talk, sit.

People make initial decisions about you based on emotions, and not logic.
It most times has nothing to do with your intellectual capacity.
Until much later before they will realize you're actually smart and all that.
At the initial stage, they are led by emotional key points.
So, let's look at some key points

*Keep Yourself Fit*
Your energy level is dependent upon your overall level of health. Stay healthy, look healthy. Don't look like someone who is carrying the weight of the world on his/her shoulders.
Have you met some people who are just natural slouchers. Lol,Every  timeyouseethem, they stand and lean on something or they bend or slouch.

This is a very wrong first impression to give.

*Know Your Agenda*

You need to know what you want to accomplish at the meeting and be ready to accomplish it.

*Research the Culture*
Never go to an event or an interview without having researched where you're going to. There are always unspoken rules in every place. It won't be good for you to ignorantly just go in and disregard them. That's why you need to do your research.
Most people will judge you within the first second of meeting you and their opinion will most likely never change.
Making a good first impression is incredibly important, because you only get one shot at it.
When you go for events, be intentional about the kind of people you want to meet. This way, you can manage the vibes you give off.
*Your Clothes Also Matter*
So, you see, clothes give us confidence.
Look at the golden rule of networking -
 *Never Network When You Are Having a Bad Day. This is because it is always difficult to hide how you truly feel. If you are in a depressed or anxious mood, others will pick up on this from your facial expressions, comments and body language. If you're having a bad day, stay home!

Be interested and interesting
If you are truly interested in meeting people and are open to learning about who they are, they will get this in a first impression.

You need to be genuinely interested in people. You can't fake these things.
How to engage in a conversation with someone for the first time
Talk in terms of the other person's interests. You're not that interesting to them.😂😂
This is funny, but very true.

1. Don't overestimate your worth. Don't assume the person will be very interested in your life. So, don't make the conversation about you.

2. Encourage people to talk about themselves.
*Research has shown us that when people talk about themselves, their brain gets the same pleasure it gets when a person receives money or eats good food.

3. Ask for advice
People love to be seen as helpers.

4. Repeat the last three words
This is a trick. Simply repeat the last two or three words your companion said, in a sympathetic, questioning tone. That throws the conversational ball right back in your partner's court.
Say things like *'I like the way that man is dressed* rather than *why is that man dressed so badly and then,

5. Gossip
Compliment other people, and you're likely to be seen positively. Complain, and you're likely to be associated with those negative traits you hate.
So make it simple.

Excerpts from The Boss Approach class by: Akan Imoh

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