Tired of attending networking events? Even for extroverted people networking can be exhausting. The good news is that you’re not alone in being jaded by all of the name tags, awkward conversations and 15-second pitches … Normally, I’m pretty social, but I want to a networking event last week and I just wasn’t feeling it. […]
Tired of attending networking events? Even for extroverted people networking can be exhausting. The good news is that you’re not alone in being jaded by all of the name tags, awkward conversations and 15-second pitches …
Normally, I’m pretty social, but I want to a networking event last week and I just wasn’t feeling it. What do you do when you want to break out of your shell? What conversation starters help you break the ice and make meaningful connections? -Danielle Bullen
1. Get people talking about themselves
Brian Alkerton: A trick that works well for me is to pick the most attractive girl in the room and approach her to ask what made her decide to come to the event. It gives you motivation to act and gives her incentive to talk about herself/her interests, which will hopefully give you an opportunity to extend the discussion.
You might prefer to go for the most attractive guy, or someone you admire and want to pick the brain of, but figure out who you most want to talk to, and get them talking about themselves.
2. Wear something unique
Adriana Llames: White linen pants paired w/blouse vs. black or Double up strands of pearls in black and white or Carry a bright, bold purse. People will talk to you because of what you’re wearing – and remember you.
Ryan Paugh: I was at an event last winter and I wore a really funky fur hat in the bar. I didn’t have to approach anybody because people were talking to me left and right about my hat.
3. Know your audience
Sean Masters: If you’re going to Dan Schawbel’s “30under30” party, come up with 2-3 questions you would love to ask him regarding Personal Branding and ALSO come up with 2-3 branding/social media questions you could ask ANYBODY attending.
Paige Holden: For one tweetup it turned out that several of the speakers that I follow and admire, like Jason Falls, were coming. I had been reading their stuff for years, and was prepared, so it was easier to go right up and started talking to them about their blogs, pr, etc.
4. Be honest
Mehul Kar: How about being honest and saying that you’re not feeling like networking? Chances are the other person has been in the same boat. That’s conversation material right there.
Ryan Healy: Think about it, you just asked a group of strangers right here on Brazen how you should break the ice, and you effectively broke the ice! It’s really not much different just because you are in person.
5. Remember: You’re probably not alone
Julia Kious Zabell: There is at least one other person who feels the same way in that room…if you need some camaraderie, scan the edges of the room for other people who are just not feeling it. But, be sure to move on from complaining how hard networking can be into what you are passionate about…misery loves company, but deep connection is more fun!
What about you? When you’re not feeling the networking scene how do you handle the situation? Share your advice in the comments section below or in the original conversation thread on Brazen >>
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