5 Easy Ways to Start Networking and Stop “Net-lurking” (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)
Have you ever gone to a networking event by yourself and stood in the corner nervous about how to start conversations with people you don’t know? If the answer is “no,” then you have either never gone to a networking event alone or you are a liar!
You should be going to networking events on your own so that you are forced to talk to people you don’t know. Here are 5 ways to break the ice:
- The registration table opener: Introduce yourself to the person at the registration table and tell him/her that it is your first time attending the event. He/she will likely introduce you to several people you can talk to.
- The host opener: Introduce yourself to the person in charge of the organization hosting the event. Chances are that this person knows most (or all) of the people in the room, and he/she is likely a very friendly person who would welcome the opportunity to introduce you to others.
- The food opener: There are always people milling around the food/drinks area of any networking event. Look for an opportunity to break the ice with someone grabbing something to eat or drink.
- The savior opener: Look for someone else who also seems to be alone and walk over and introduce yourself.
- The group opener: Walk up to a group of 3 or more people and ask if you can “join” them. When 2 people are engaged in conversation, it is not a good idea to interrupt, but if there is a group of 3 or more people, chances are that they will welcome 1 more person.
Several upcoming blog posts will discuss additional strategies for effective networking. For now, just get the conversation started!
Thanks for reading!
College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises