Communication · Personal Development · Public Relations

How to start a conversation in a networking event

networking

Frequently, people find themselves in uncomfortable situations when going to a networking event. And I must admit I’m also one of those people. Attending a networking event can make us feel nervous, anxious and worried. But, after reading this article, you will feel more positive about it! I highly recommend reading this article to help you feel more confident and prepared before showing up at the next event.

Personally, I think the hardest first move is to approach people – without being too awkward about it. How can you start a conversation with someone that you have never met? Here are some ideas:

Talk about the event itself

  • Is it your first time at one of these events?
  • What do you think about the presentation of …?
  • What tips would you give to someone who has never attended one of these events?

Compliment them about their outfits

  • Your… looks great, where did you buy your…(jacket, tie, etc.)?
  • Wow, is that the new Google smartwatch?
  • “Cute shoes! Where did you get them?”

Approach the food table

  • “Oh man, everything looks so good… I’m not sure what to get! What are you thinking?”
  • “Yummy, they have …! Have you ever tried it?”
  • “Hmm, I’m not quite sure what that dish is… do you know?”
  • “Yum, that drink looks good. What is it?”

Be interested about their jobs

  • “What line of work are you in or are you trying to get into?”
  • I have a friend who might want to do business with you; what would your ideal client look like?
  • What projects are you working on right now?
  • “What kind of benefits do you get in your job?”

Ask them about their interests

  • What’s your opinion on…?
  • What’s your favourite…? restaurant, movie, sport, etc.
  • What was the highlight of your weekend/day/holiday?
  • What do you like most about your…job, home, living in…?

After all, it’s all about focusing on others first before pitching yourself. Making the person you are talking with feel important could lead to a valuable business connection. That’s actually the concept of the book “How to win friends and influence people” that I talked about in one of my past posts.

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