Networking can be a source of embarrassment and fear, especially when you don’t know who you’ll be brushing shoulders with or how much more professional they are than you. But one of the best ways to overcome your networking fears is to start flowing the small talk and be the source of all the comfortable chats, avoid awkward silences and be chatty with our small talk cheat sheet!
#1 Do your research
It’s important to know who you’re addressing, keep in mind who’s going to be there and if you want to join a conversation, confidently enter and lead with your name and job title and breeze through the conversation with ease.
#2 Know how to greet people
Do you give people a peck on the cheek or lead with a confident handshake? Go with what you’re confident with, and stick with it if things get embarrassing!
#3 Work on your memory
You’ll be meeting and chatting with lots of people, so it’s important to address them by name. The worst thing to do would be to forget someone you’ve previously met, so if that happens just politely apologise and crack a joke. It happens, don’t worry about it. As long as you’re chatty, friendly, easygoing and do your best to commit people’s names to memory.
#4 Be a great listener
Entering a conversation can be really intimidating, so make sure you lead with some good questions and try to draw out people who don’t talk much. You have to be a great listener, because people love talking about themselves and if you remember a detail they told you later on, it will completely work in your favour!
#5 Stick to safe topics when appropriate
Talk about work, home and the event with people you don’t know too well, unless they start a controversial conversation that demands unique opinions. Don’t feel pressured to say something you think will go down well, make sure you reason your responses and laugh at other people’s jokes.
#6 Go easy on the alcohol
Alcohol flows at networking events, one of the best pieces of advice to people looking to network is to go easy on the drink and keep a keen ear out for other people’s conversations. Keep a clear head, but have one or two and don’t be afraid to stick to the fizzy drinks.
#7 Escape with grace
Leave a conversation with a sunny disposition and make an excuse that fits the moment, slip away on the premise of getting a drink or say you need some food to get away. Keep in mind who you’ve met and try to remember what they’re interested in before you drift away, you want people to remember you for how easy going and easy to talk to you are.
Small talk at networking events shouldn’t be hard, as long as you keep calm and be confident yet easygoing. Don’t forget to enter our fab Dior giveaway to bag yourself a pair of sexy summer sunglasses!