Networking with strangers can be a terrifying experience for many people, especially when it’s in-person. What do you say? What if you’re awkward? What if you don’t make a good first impression?
1. Know How To Break The Ice
Struggling for ice breakers? Instead of trying to memorize one-liners, keep things simple.
“A simple ‘Hello, my name is ___’ is more than sufficient if said with a smile,” said LoDolce. “Or, my favorite, ‘So, what brings you here?”
2. Get Warmed up
Don’t start batting without a few practice swings! Make sure you talk to a few people before you hit up your main target – it will ease your nerves and make you feel more comfortable.
“The moment you walk into the room, just start chatting it up with someone to warm up a bit,” LoDolce suggested. “Before you know it, you’ll feel comfortable chatting up the big time CEO across the room.”
3. Be Aware Of Your Body Language
Did you know that 93% of communication is non-verbal? In order to give off a positive impression, LoDolce suggests doing the following:
Don’t cross your arms Keep a strong smile all night long Hold strong eye contact
Feel weird keeping eye contact? Try just staring at the bridge of the other person’s nose instead.
4. Ask Great Questions
“If you are uncomfortable doing the talking, then ask interesting and thought provoking questions,” LoDolce suggested.
Here’s an example: “Oh, you’re an architect? What’s it like building something that you know will be around for hundreds of years?”
5. Have Fun
Whenever you attend a networking event, above all else, focus on having a good time. People will be attracted to your good attitude.
“If you’re enjoying yourself, people will enjoy your company,” said LoDolce.
And, even if all fails, at least you can say you had a great night!
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