Would you consider yourself the most captivating person in the room at a networking event? Most of us would answer this with a no way or I’m so weird in those social situations. In this episode, Vanessa Van Edwards teaches us about the science behind winning with people and becoming captivating.

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Becoming the Most Captivating Person in the Room with Vanessa Van Edwards:

Vanessa Van Edwards says that she is a recovering awkward person. She now is someone who is the most memorable person in a room. She says that as a recovering awkward person, you can be charismatic and find your people.

That thing that you think is so bad or detrimental to your success might actually be something you can use to have more success. She thought her awkwardness would keep her from becoming successful, but once she leaned into it, her business grew exponentially!

Science of People is organized into three parts: The first 5 minutes, the first 5 hours, and the first 5 days.
Let’s talk about the first 5 minutes.

What is the best way to work a room?

There are patterns of movement in a room. There are specific places in the room to not only meet people but to have deep conversations and make a true connection. If you are right outside the restroom or next to the food your window for conversation is limited.
The “social” zone is the sweet spot in a room. This sweet spot is where people are exiting the bar. Once people have grabbed their drink they are wondering what to do next. – You should be 3-5 people from this spot, you can grab them first and start up a conversation. This makes you a social savior, this is the moment people are desperate for social interaction.

Related Podcast Episode: Discovering Your Voice

How do you make a great impression?

This works for a virtual event as well as an in-person event.
You want to dis-engage social scripts like “what do you do” “where are you from”. These typical statements and questions produce the worst conversations. They are not memorable. If you ask a more exciting question you will give the other person a spike of dopamine.
A good conversation starter would be “have you been working on anything exciting right now?” This gives the person an opportunity to talk about something other than their job. When you talk about something that the other person is excited about it will put them in a more positive state of mind. You will see people light up when you ask a question like this.

How should we position ourselves socially?

Research has found that we look at someone’s hands first and keep out eye on them. It is a survival mechanism. When we see their hands, we can see their intentions, it is also a modern dictionary. When they really know their content, they will speak to us with their hands as well as their words. This is important for in-person and virtual. You should always lead with your hands, not in your pockets or your purse. Lead with your hand by signaling that you want a handshake or a hug. Virtually you want to make sure that your camera is in a position where it can see your upper torso face head and hands! When people can see your hands right when they log in, it makes them feel immediately relaxed.

How can you be the most memorable person in the room?

Listen with purpose!
My entire goal is to listen with purpose. You are listening for a “me too” moment, where you find something in common with the other person. When you say “me too” or “I do that too”, any shared thing gives you a deeper connection and it is how you build extremely loyal customers and friendships.
You never want to be inauthentic and pretend to have things in common. You need to be a pivot-er. If someone is talking about something that you are not in, find some type of commonality with them. If there is nothing similar that you can bring into the conversation, ask as many curios questions as you can until you can find a commonality with them.

Vanessa Van Edwards’ final thought:

Remember that whatever your secret flaw or detriment that you think is holding you back, it may be your key to more success. Make it a goal this week to tell one person your secret and see what happens!


Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

▶ Vanessa’s Website: TheScienceofPeople.com
▶ Read the book: Captivate

What is your biggest networking hack that has helped you succeed with people?