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Have you been in a situation where you needed to muster up the courage to speak to people in a group environment? It can be intimidating and stressful. Developing your interpersonal skills is a necessary part of business and can do wonders for your confidence. Through well-selected words, you can be influential and even unforgettable; but not without a bit of practice first.

Communication lies at the heart of your interpersonal skills. Words are incredibly powerful and will give you much insight into those around you. And don’t forget the power of nonverbal signals as well. By practicing your communication skills through networking and the art of conversation, you will be able to impact your personal success significantly.

Networking

Networking is essential in the business world and is an excellent way to continuously support your goals and success. You never know who you will meet or where the conversations will take you until you start circulating around the room. State your name and the company you represent clearly. Just do your best when it comes to remembering the names of others. Always repeat for clarification to aid your memory.

Maximise the opportunity of networking by dressing to impress, always remember to be yourself and communicate that inner confidence.

Starting conversations

Starting a conversation can be hard. You need to find a suitable icebreaker to get the ball rolling and then tackle the small talk to keep it going past the initial introduction. Asking a question will open up the discussion. You can talk about the food, the weather, what company they work for or what they like to get up to in their spare time.

By learning to create a powerful opening to the conversation, you are well on your way to improving your communication and interpersonal skills. A potential new contact can be a valuable resource to your current or future career choice.

Moving a conversation along

Once the conversation has started, it can be difficult to keep the momentum going, particularly if you don’t know much about who you are speaking to. Listen for clues and ask questions. Stay on track and choose your words carefully. The skill of being able to carry out a conversation with total strangers will hold you in good stead over the course of your career, no matter your position or industry.

Acting professionally and representing yourself well will allow you to stand out and leave a lingering impression. Always remember to thank them for their time and leave your business card if they ask for one.

I will leave you with this one quote to dwell on:

“A single conversation with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.”

– Chinese Proverb

Your interpersonal and networking skills lay the foundation to how you operate in business and your personal life. If you do find you are struggling in this area in particular, our Interpersonal Skills eCourse will help you build your skills and enable you to make a lasting impression, long after the event has ended.