“I speak two languages, Body and English”. – Mae West
Communicating with a computer via email, newsletter, or any of the social sites, we still need to convey our personality, our humility and our authenticity just as we do in a face-to-face conversation. Without facial expression, eyes to read and tone of voice to listen to, we could be in danger that the receiver of our message reads something quite different to what we actually want them to read.
There is also the time delay to consider, particularly when posting in forums and discussion boards and so a conversation may take place over several hours or even days.
So how can we put some real etiquette in place so that we don’t mess it up and give the wrong impression about ourselves when we network and connect with others online?
- Do use a greeting and sign off with your name included.
- Follow Dale Carnegie’s advice and always use the other persons’ name when addressing them.
- Don’t use all capital letters; it’s the digital equivalent of shouting at someone.
- Respond to connection requests with a brief “nice to meet you” message just as you would if meeting someone offline.
- Do get back to those that have made the effort to reach out to you digitally. You wouldn’t ignore them in person.
- Watch your spelling and grammar. It really is your digital body language so make it top notch.
- Avoid lots of exclamation marks, they can make you look angry !!!!!
- Use the smiley face icons to help the reader understand your tone if appropriate.
Your body language can say so many things that words simply can’t, and in the online world with the absence of visibility, others will form impressions of you that may not be true of whom you really are.
Have I missed any? Feel free to add them in the comments below.