Clarity gives you the courage to walk through the door and curiosity makes it easy for you to keep your emotions in check. Armed with both you will make connections and initiate conversations that are as powerful as they are totally unpredictable. These talking tips were inspired by science-based conversation hacks.
Encourage people to talk about themselves and when you do, it gives them as much pleasure as food or money. Smile, make eye contact, and ask simple, open-ended and unexpected questions. Listening without interrupting takes practice. Read their name badge and use the information actively in conversation. “Hi Bill, you’re from BGH Consulting, what’s your specialty?” Play off a change of seasons, “It’s September. What were the highlights of your summer?” Focus on the event. “We’re hearing from a futurist today, what trends are you interested in learning about?”
Networking is very much alive but the dreaded elevator pitch is finally dead - and not a minute too soon!
We’re replacing the phoney, one-sided, introductions that cause other people’s eyes to glaze over while they silently scream, “Please get away from me!”, with a calm curiosity that gets people talking. When we listen to others, we uncover the clues that allow us to make real connections with them, and to support them in unexpected ways. Science shows that providing people with the chance to talk about themselves gives them as much pleasure as food . . . or money!