While on Twitter I came across Sam at 6ft9.com and if you're like me, if the domain addy is something other than the person's name and it's even a tad bit interesting, I must go check it out. So, check it out I did and I found some cool stuff. In Sam's most recent post, he talks about mastering the art of conversation and brought up some good points - read for yourself here. I forget how some peeps struggle with this - and that's not a slam in any way. As Sam included in his post title, it's an art and as art goes, it's a practice.
I have friends who are unsure of approaching and striking up a conversation with others and I also know people who can talk endlessly. Like dude-take-a-breath-so-I-can-exit type of endless. Do you?
Personally, I'm an introvert myself but if you saw me in a crowded room, you may not necessarily think that because I can get out there and schmooze like the best of them. If you're an introvert trying to "get out there", this is for you my friend. Introvert does not mean shy or being a hermit. It just means that you energize with quality alone time. If you're an extrovert and all you do is talk about yourself and monopolize the entire conversation, how did you leave the listener feeling? Do you want to see that person again?
Most people like talking about themselves and share parts of their life with others. I'm not saying, don't talk about yourself. I'm saying, if you want people to remember you in a good light, let the conversation be about them. Sam covered a great deal about that in his post (seriously check it out because that's not what I'm covering here today). When talking about networking, a mentor of mine told me once, "the one who says the least wins." and this is what I'm sharing with you today.
3 Introduction Approaches plus...
- Give a compliment with a follow up question. Then introduce yourself. It could sound something like this, "Nice shoes/brief case/business card - where can I get one like it? They will answer your question, most of the time with a brief answer. You would then answer with a, "Great/Awesome! Thanks! I'm [insert your name here].." Then you can either dig deeper into their answer with more questions or simply ask how they know the host.
- Have a mutual acquaintance introduce you. Simple right? Then ask them how they know each other.
- Say hello. I know, this one is always the hardest for me but I've found it's actually scarier in my head then what actually happens in real life. Really. I use this approach when I can't honestly give a compliment or have someone introduce me to them and I want to meet them. Usually, I want to meet someone because they look familiar from another event or I've seen them do something that I'm interested in. This approach looks something like, "Hi, I'm [insert your name here] and I saw you [name of event or describe awesome thing you saw them do here]."
Bonus: 11 Questions [ or Statements ] for a Kick Ass Conversation
- How do you know the host?
- How did you come across this group/organization?
- How long have you been doing this?
- Tell me more about..what you do. How long have you been doing it? What got you started?
- What do you do outside of this environment?
- Tell me more about...your kids. How many? How old? What activities?
- Tell me more about...your hobby. Where do you do that? Why did you choose that location? How did you get started in that?
- Tell me more about...your interest. How long have you been doing that? How did you get started in that? How often do you do that? Is there a goal..what is it?
- How do you find time between doing this and that?
- Are you part of any other groups/organizations like this one? Where is that? How often do they meet? What's their purpose? How does it benefit you? Would you recommend it? To whom would you recommend it to?
- Who else is as cool as you around here? Mind introducing me? [ see what I did there?]
It takes practice and if you genuinely want to know about others, the questions aren't hard to come by. The best way to practice is by doing it. Live. With people. Aaaaand go!
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