You might be feeling a little rusty since you have been out of the networking game for the last several weeks. But you can easily get back in it with these useful tips to help spark a conversation at your next networking event!
First, you must always look approachable, preferably with a smile on your face. You don’t want to be the person standing in the corner, isolated from everyone. Be outgoing, keep your head, and make eye contact! This is when your body language is going to come into play, and you want to display that you are welcome to new conversations.
Ask questions! Of course, you will want to start with the basics like names and job titles, but don’t stop there! Also, inquire about what brings them to the event. Dig a little deeper to really spark a meaningful conversation.
Be interested in what they have to say! Not only do you have to ask questions, but you also have to seem interested in what they are saying. A great icebreaker is to give compliments, like, “I love your scarf, where did you get it?” Now you are not only showing interest, but you are also throwing a question in there!
Be prepared. Just like with anything in business, you want to be prepared. Have a quick blurb about yourself ready, usually a 30-second piece that describes yourself. Remember, you can’t have the entire conversation be about you!
Talk about your surroundings. Having trouble coming up with a way to talk to someone? The location will come in handy! Create a conversation by commenting on something that is in the area, like about the cocktails or food!
Look for advice. Not only will you show interest in someone, asking advice on things shows that you value their opinion.
Talk about current events. Current events are always a great subject to refer to when you can’t think of anything else to say. Just be careful with certain topics like religion and politics. Stay away from those, but don’t be afraid to talk sports or even about the weather.
Find something in common. While talking about current events, make it a little more personal and find similar interests, other than work. Talk about think like your family, your favorite sports team, or even where you grew up.
Be funny! This doesn’t always work with all personalities. But if you can pull it off, being funny is the ultimate icebreaker. To lighten the mood, you can start by saying something like, “geez, I sure am underdressed for the event.”
Be honest and nice! When all is said and done, you must be honest and nice to keep the conversation from going south. With that being said, you also want to be respectful of other’s time. Don’t over-talk or overstay your welcome. Make sure you are taking the time to mingle and talk with everyone, which is the whole point of networking!
It has been a while since any of us have attended any networking events in Phoenix. But when things return to normal, networking events will be bigger and better than ever. Make sure to look in your area for upcoming events that will benefit your brand!