Many people, now and in the past have complimented me on my ability to network. While I do consider it a strength of mine, I figured out that there was more to it than being comfortable with approaching strangers and being able to make a good first impression.
After years of shaking hands and introducing myself to strangers I deemed as “successful” I discovered that there were certain qualities those individuals liked to see. Something attracted them to my presence or the topic I was speaking about.
Here are 4 qualities I believe I believe young people should practice to attract successful people. (If attracting successful people is something that you would like to do).
1. Be a confident speaker.
According to the institute of national health, 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety.
This means that we may come across as unsure or timid individuals; people who don’t believe in their words or doubt themselves.
Here are some things that may strike the mind of a successful person when conversing with an un-confident speaker.
· This person doesn’t believe in them self or the words they are saying.
· This person is intimidated of me.
· This person sees me as having higher social or socioeconomic status.
· This conversation has no value to me.
When these conclusions are drawn it can create a lot of deviance. What I mean is, when 2 people are speaking and one can see that they are at different levels of life or success they lose interest in the conversation. They may infer the individual brings no value to the interaction and chose to gather it elsewhere. The more successful of the two might also feel the deviance and believe that they need to be nicer to the person or adapt their speech to resonate with them and limit their abilities all together.
In addition this can really take away from your credibility as a person; sending people a message that the conversation and information discussed may not be legitimate.
Now when you hear a confident speaker, these are some thoughts that may come to mind.
· This person believes in what they are saying.
· This person is passionate and able to keep my attention.
· This person is intelligent.
· This person has the ability to inspire.
These thoughts are more positive in nature because they are rare. Not everyone is a confident speaker (36% of people, according to the institute of mental health) so when we come across one, their social worth is higher than that of an average person. If you have ever listened to a TED talk, have any of the presenters ever come across as unsure of their ideas? NO. They are absolutely passionate in what they say and usually invest their lives spreading it; As a result their ideas are considered “worth spreading”. Do you think the delivery of an idea can affect its value to an audience? Tremendously, delivery isn’t everything but it can make or break ones opinion of an idea so it’s best to practice this skill.
Successful people usually love to learn so if you are able to convey an idea that is new to them and confidently explain it, you are sure to win their attention.
2. Maintain eye contact.
Eye contact is huge. It is a nonverbal that screams confidence; a desire to be recognized and may also be used for intimidation.
“Giving more eye contact can show that you are in control, charismatic or dominant.”- According to M.Farouk Radwan MSc, and creator of “2knowmyself.com.” Think about the work environment for successful people, most of them are top managers or owners of businesses where nice people get stepped on. Having these qualities make you more important and powerful in their eyes since their superiors probably display similar traits.
Successful people like certainty, if you are able to demonstrate control of a conversation or come across as dominant they are more likely to find interest in you because you exude these attributes.
3. Bring something to the table.
You need to bring value. When meeting someone for the first time you are selling yourself to that person. You need to convince the individual that time with you is time spent wisely and there is something to be gained from it; teach them something, discuss their interests or ask them about their story.
The best way to do this is to discuss things that interest them. No one hates to talk about them self, so I often get people to share their stories of success and see where they came from. This eliminates having to discuss a topic that might be way over your head or beyond your experience.
Another great topic to discuss is goals. When young people in particular are confidently able to express their goals, you give off the following impression:
· You know what you want and how to get there.
· You are future oriented.
· You come across as confident and intelligent.
· You increase your present and future value.
When you speak about your goals you should be passionate and exude the 2 qualities we discussed earlier in order to maximize your conversation. Ability to do this will show that you are goal oriented and driven; the more attributes common to successful people that you can display, the more you’ll be seen as valuable and a person they need to associate with.
It’s always great to bring something to the table but if you can’t, it’s okay; you can always ask for advice. When you acknowledge another’s success and admit your inexperience the person will appreciate that you find their words valuable, making for pleasant conversation.
In addition they will see that you are curious about a particular topic and see them as a resource to be used. Successful people love to contribute and teach others because it makes them feel important. Become someone’s protégée, ask to meet regularly or communicate frequently in the case that you need more information. Natural curiosity demonstrates your thirst to improve and gain knowledge, a quality that the successful admire.
4. Be attractive in some sort.
You don’t need to be a fashion model, although that would always make life easier, but create some attraction through your appearance. Here are some ways that you can be attractive aside from a physical sense.
· Dress like a successful person.
· Regularly hang out or be in locations where successful people tend to be.
· Take part in some activity or actions that gain the interest of successful people.
When you are able to be attractive whether through the way you dress, where you spend our time, or what you do, one thing is certain; you will attract the attention of the ones you emulate.