Become a networking master in 40 easy steps

2 Mins

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Five ideas for turning small talk into big talk

For most people, small talk sucks. But mastering the art of it, and using it to get into the types of conversations you’re looking for, is a quick route to success. Remember that finding common ground is great, but finding your differences can be even better!

Great conversation starters:

(16) Where are you from?

(17) What do you do when you’re not working?

(18) What are you most looking forward to this week?

(19) Who’s the most interesting person you’ve spoken to so far?

(20) What’s the best thing you’ve eaten since you been here?

Remember you’re not just looking for business connections but life-long partnerships. Clicking on a personal level is just as important, if not more, than having compatible career plans. 

Everyone is important

This kind of goes without saying, but be decent to everyone you meet and don’t dismiss anyone.

(21) Treat the cloakroom attendant with the same respect as the host.

(22) Chat to people next to you in queues; it’ll pass the time and you never know your luck.

(23) Don’t hesitate to put your hand in your pocket for a round – it’ll pay off eventually.

(24) Don’t push in to get nearer to someone – you might just have pushed their loved ones out.

Be warned – carrying two phones is a social embarrassment

The top ten dos and don’ts for any event

(25) Do take good care of yourself.

(26) Don’t rush to make things happen.

(27) Do buy people drinks when talking to them.

(28) Don’t pitch your business at a urinal – ever.

(29) Do believe that every person there has potential to help you.

(30) Don’t feel like you need to speak to every single one of them.

(31) Do seek out the up and comers rather than just those who’re established.

(32) Don’t limit yourself by networking exclusively within your industry.

(33) Do seek out one meaningful connection over 100 business cards.

(34) Don’t come away with regrets – be bold and brave in your approach.

Continue on the final page for the final steps around the “cool down” and some inspirational quotes.

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