Getting a conversation started

One of the most intimidating situations for most people is to enter a room where they know virtually no one. It feels uncomfortable. This is where the art of networking come in. Networking is all about making connections with people to see if there could be a reciprocal relationship built around helping one another. Sometimes it’s challenging to just get that conversation started. Here are three tips to help make it easier:

Decide on your purpose for going to the event. Chances are other people at the event have the same objective, so you already have something in common with many of the people in the room. Most people who attend networking events are looking for prospects, resources, or they are looking to reconnect with people they have met before.
 
Have an introduction ready. Most people know this introduction as their “elevator speech”. Your elevator speech is simply who you are (your name), your company, who you serve and how you help them. For instance, my introduction goes like this, “I’m Sonja Stetzler, owner of Effective Connecting where I help small business owners become strategic with public speaking.” Your introduction should only be short, less than 10 seconds long. Make it easy for people to know who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. Practice your introduction until it rolls off your tongue.
 
Be prepared with two more engaging questions. Once the introductions are doneBusiness Management Articles, keep the conversation going to get to know your conversation partner. Questions such as “What excites you most about….?” or “What have you always wanted to do but haven’t had the chance to do yet?” lead to a deeper and more memorable connection.
 
The key to successful networking is initiating a conversation to discover mutually beneficial relationships with others. Let’s get started.
 
Sonja Stetzler is a registered dietician and communications coach.  For more information:  www.effectiveconnecting.com/

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