When is it OK to talk to strangers?

At a networking event, getting the conversation rolling may seem daunting, but really it’s easy. Here are a few starters:

  • Talk about the purpose of the event. Is it a one-time gala event, the kick-off to a season of events, a fundraiser?
  • Ask about his or her connection to the organization sponsoring the event.
  • Be ready to chat about something other than ‘work.’  Be up to date on the day’s news, relevant blogs, current trends.
  • Pause. Let him or her say something, listen, and ask a question.

A few “don’ts”

  • Don’t talk exclusively about yourself. Yes, you can tell people about your business, your job search, or yourself. Just don’t become known as the person who only talks about her search or himself.
  • Don’t talk about sports unless you know the game—the players, teams, and standings this time of year. 


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