The Unmentionables of Networking - The Three Big Bad B's You are talking to someone at a networking event and you get a strange feeling that they are slowly backing away from you as you speak. You dismiss it and say to yourself that they just were not interested. Networking seems to be hard work. You are missing opportunities and you are not sure why. One of the unmentionables may be killing your networking opportunities. No one will tell you. Here is my guide to the three Unmentionable Big Bad Bs of Networking. Body Odour Here are some things to check to make sure that your Body Odour is not a problem. There is no secret way to check your Body Odour. Ask a trusted friend not your live-in partner. He or she has got used to living with you and your special smell. People do talk amongst themselves and they know which men and women to avoid. Shower and use deodorant or anti-perspirant every day. An anti-perspirant reduces the wetness and a deodorant suppresses the smell. Choose the one that meets your needs. Stress and anxiety are common triggers of sweat and Body Odour in both males and females. The less stressed you are about networking and life, the better you smell. Check the smell of your feet and your shoes. Synthetic shoes can make your feet sweat and smell, especially if they are the only shoes you wear. Leather shoes breathe; so these may be a better choice for networking. Avoid strong perfume or aftershave. After a few uses, you cannot smell it on you but others can. If you regularly eat garlic and pungent foods and spices, you get used to it but others can smell it as it comes out of the pores of your skin. Finally, non-smokers are definitely sensitive to a smoker's smell even if you think that you have covered it up. Bad Breath I was taught a very simple test you can do to check how your breath smells. Lick the side of one of your clean hands near your thumb. Make sure that you have not recently put moisturizer or body lotion on your hand. You are checking for smell not taste. Smell where you have licked. You will know immediately if you have a problem with your breath. Using a tongue scraper twice a day may help your mouth look clean and reduce bacteria. As the bad breath smell comes from the back of the throat, this is a short-term reduction not a permanent cure. There are many causes of Bad Breath. Eating foods such as onions, garlic and cauliflower have only a temporary effect on your breath. Do the Lick and Smell test over a few days to see if you have a more serious problem. It may be a dental infection, your diet, your smoking, your snoring, an emotional issue or a more serious underlying health problem. Do not ignore it. Talk to your dentist, doctor or preferred health source about it to find the best solution for you. Bad Dressing This can come in two ways. The first is in being dressed too casual. While business dress today is less formal, dressing for this can be a minefield. Those under 40 and some professions can dress too casual and give the impression that they do not take themselves and their business seriously. Business men and women over 50 can lack the skill of looking modern professional. Their classic, sedate dressing can give the impression of being out-of-date with modern ideas and modern technology. The second aspect of Bad Dressing comes when a networker's words and appearance are out of alignment. This is when you talk about health and vitality but look tired and dress in dark, low- contrast clothing. You may lose business like this story. A seasoned, successful networker approached me and said - Talk to her. She is promoting financial success and is dressed in cheap, ill-fitting clothes. Dressing in Prada is not essential but wearing quality, well-fitting clothes give the impression that you practice what you preach.
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