In our last post we went over how to become a rock star at breaking the ice, but that is just the first step to networking. What really makes the great first impression is the ability to keep the conversation flowing.
It’s a know fact, many conversations die after the small talk. It’s up to you, the initiator to keep the conversation moving! If you ask the right questions, this can be done very easily. A good start would be to ask about the basics, their job, education, workplace or even where they are from. It never hurts to dig a little deeper and find out some of their hobbies, or their favorite type of music. You never know, it may be something you can bond over.
Small talk is great but it really leads you into the deeper discussion. Below are some basic guidelines to follow to make your networking conversations successful.
- This conversation is a two way street so don’t talk about you the whole time. Add your thoughts and ideas but don’t control the conversation.
- It is always a great idea to ask the person to expand on their thought and tell you more.
- If you speak slow and with confidence, you won’t be tripping over your words and need to say “um” or “ah” all the time.
- Never judge what someone tells you.
- It is always best to avoid topics such as politics and religion.
- Watch out for your body language! You may be having a great conversation but if you are slouching, or not making any eye contact you will give off a negative image. Stand tall, head up and relaxed.
- You can listen, and then you can be an active listener. Make sure you give your partner your full attention.