Summary: Opportunities to network can happen at any time with people we have never met before, so follow these tips to make the conversation easier.
You decide to attend a networking event that you know will pay off; there will be countless important people from your industry there. The only problem is that you have never met any of these people and don’t know how to properly introduce yourself without sounding like a fool. Luckily there are steps that you can take to ensure you can start, hold, and end a conversation with strangers successfully.
First step: Prepare a conversation topic before going to the event. Use this conversation during times of uncomfortable silence. Ideas to talk about may be work you are currently working on or a book you’ve been reading. Avoid turning the conversation into an “interview” setting where everyone goes around stating what they do.
Second step: Make yourself sound interesting through compelling stories. Your goal during networking events is to make yourself be memorable to new people. Stories should have a clear point and punch line that is a takeaway or joke. Focus on things besides work when talking so that real connections can be formed with new people.
Third step: End conversations with a bang, not with an awkward moment. They will remember you by these last moments, so be sure to make eye contact so that it doesn’t appear as if you are running away.
Fourth step: You must be honest and open in order to build relationships. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Not everyone will like your personality and vice versa. If someone is not interested in you, move on to someone else instead of trying to waste your time trying to convince them of how awesome you are. There are plenty of other people you can talk to that may be interested in who you are and what you have to offer.
Photo: thinkbelle.comDominate Networking with Anyone by Amanda Griffin