2. ‘I’m bad at remembering names’
Prepare! Memorize or make notes about the speakers. Find out who’s attending – you could ask the organizer, or check an event page – then open LinkedIn and get stalking. This will also help make sure you spend as much time as possible with the people you want to keep in touch with.
At the event, play a name-recalling game like the meet and repeat: As soon as you meet someone, use their name in the next thing you say.
You can even challenge others to join in. You can quickly unite a small team of strangers around overcoming one of the toughest parts of networking and in doing so, you’ll learn a lot more about them than just their names.
3. ‘I always get shy in big gatherings’
Getting over the first hurdle of saying anything is the typically the hardest part, so put together a little toolkit (a metaphorical toolkit, that is) of conversation starters to whip out when called upon.
We think you can do better than low-hanging fruit like “What do you do?” – ask something deeper to really get to know someone. This is how you make contacts who call back.
Here are a few lines that do the trick:
- What are you hoping to get out of this event?
This gets right to the point and allows you both to share an honest reflection.
This one is fun as it’s so open-ended. Your conversation partner can answer professionally or personally, seriously or frivolously. And you’ll learn a lot from each other about how you interpret the question.
- What would you say that you’re known for?
This one is fun because people love sharing what they’re good at and usually love an opportunity to do so – it also lets people move the conversation onto familiar ground.
- Hey, do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice.
(We’re just kidding with that one. Unless you think you can rock it – in which case, be our guests.)
4. ‘I find it hard to approach someone new’
Work your wardrobe! If you’re wearing something unique that stands out – like a brightly colored tie, choker, or that piece of statement jewellery you never find a time to wear – gives people an easy intro to start talking to you, and makes you memorable.
Premium business cards that are unusual or innovative also spark further chat – this is why so many people love our NFC, Gold Foil or Luxe Business Cards. It’s one way to be sure you’re the one face that they don’t forget.