Networking doesn’t have to be intimidating
Networking can be intimidating for some but here are 7 conversation starters to get yourself on a roll with the different people you meet at networking events.
If you are new to networking it might be very odd to you. It might make you cringe seeing all the different people in the room of which you know no one. As the event goes on and you start talking with people you are put at ease to see it is not as scary as you thought it would be. If you are not new to networking and still find it extremely hard to throw yourself into conversation here are 7 conversation starters to give you the little push that you need.
- Make a comment about the food.
As odd as that might sound, everyone eats and everyone has opinions, so that it a great way to open conversation. Food is the way to people’s hearts so use it to your advantage. Once that person shares their thoughts on the food they are likely to open up about who they are and how they found the event.
- Give out compliments, but mean them when you say i.
People love getting complimented whether it be about their personal self and appearance, or about their choice of drink in their hand. The best way to start a conversation is to get someone interested and giving a compliment is sure to draw them in.
- Don’t exclude anyone when it is a group setting
As groups and clichés are common, even in the workplace, make sure to give equal attention to everyone. People will be aware of the awkwardness or how noticeable it is if you are not including them. Networking is about everyone at the event meeting everyone so give off the vibe to all that you are interested in meeting them.
Sometimes when you can’t find the words to talk up yourself or come up with a line about the food, the best way to go about networking is to put yourself out there and shake hands and simply introduce yourself. Some people find this easier and makes the situation better for them. You want to have yourself in the best light as possible so make sure you are comfortable when networking.
- Ask questions but most importantly LISTEN to the response.
Everyone wants to know that they are being heard and networking is all about meeting people. You are more likely to stand out if you remember how many kids they have or where they plan on going on their next vacation. Networking is all about building business relationships and when you can impress with the details and show that you care, you have just won yourself your next client.
- Ask for information on ALL types of things
As much as networking should be about building business contacts, it is also about building business relationships. If you run out of conversations surrounding your businesses move on to questions about the surrounding area. Some examples are “Are there nice places to take clients out in your area?”, “I’m looking for a new dentist, do you know any in the area?”
- Know it all but only a little.
The people who keep up the best conversations are storytellers. They can talk and have an instance of example on everything. The thing is, if you notice, is that they do not go on and on. They are right to the point about what they are talking about. Be a storyteller, don’t go far out of limb. People know you are not superman and can pick up a truck, but they can tell a boring story when its being told.
All of these conversation starters will have you on your networking way and will make you at ease when at the events. Happy Networking!