Have you ever met someone who is a natural at networking? They can strike up a conversation with anyone at any time. It seems to come so naturally to them. Not everyone is skilled in the art of conversation but networking is an important part of anyone’s professional career. So, what do you do when you’re stuck? Here are a few tips to start a conversation at your next event.
- Conversation is easy over food. You’ll notice that a certain part of the crowd will begin to hover around the food table. Rather than silently filling your plate, begin a conversation with the person in front of you. Ask them about foods you’re not familiar with or recommend something you like.
- Reach out to wall flowers. Not everyone will be jumping into the conversations from the start. Look for the lone individual standing in the corner. They will be an easy person to start a conversation with. Make them feel comfortable off the bat. This will let them know you’re a kindred spirit.
- Use compliments. Another great conversation starter is to point out something you really like about them such as their shoes or handbag. Many people arrive to networking events feeling less than confident so an icebreaker that makes them feel better about themselves is a good place to start. Of course, be sure not to cross any lines that might be deemed inappropriate.
- Look for things in common. You may find that you have things in common with others at the event. “Did I hear you say you’re originally from Nebraska? Me too – what part?” People like to talk to others who share a common background or experience.
- Don’t let the conversation fade. One of the traps many people find themselves in is letting the conversation die after the initial question. If you can’t think of anything else to say right away, ask some of the expected questions, “What do you do?” or “Is this your first time at one of these events?” This can continue the conversation without seeming like it is forced.
Are you networking to find your next healthcare position? Fortus Healthcare Resources has
job opportunities throughout the country as well as internationally.