Before attending a networking event, be prepared. Peruse newspapers, trade journals, websites and elsewhere for current information and events so that you can mentally formulate questions in advance to help with starting a conversation. Examples of conversation starters include:
To end a conversation
Recap the conversation in a positive way with a compliment and then a close. End with appreciation and be sure to use the person's name, says Debra Fine, author of "The Fine Art of Small Talk." This helps to let the person know that you were listening to them, For example:
Then provide a nonverbal exit cue such as extending your hand to shake theirs or turning your shoulders slightly to indicate that you are finishing the conversation and that you intend to move on.
Popular businessman, columnist and bestselling author Harvey Mackay says the strongest networks are built on friendships. When attending a networking function, go with one goal in mind: to learn about other people. Try to connect on a level other than business. People bond over overlapping areas of interest, no matter what they are. You may leave with a good business contact, or, more important, a lasting friendship.
Pam Harvit, M.S., is a certified corporate etiquette and protocol consultant. You may request her services or email your questions to her at phar...@suddenlink.net.