You walk into a room or an event and you know nobody, what do you do? Okay that's a silly question, beside make a b-line to the bar, ha. If you're like most of us you will either make small talk the entire time with the person you came with, if you're alone latch on to the first person you encounter, OR worst case you become a wall flower counting the minutes until you leave. Get over the fear of engaging, it's not that scary, I promise. Below is a quick list to help you engage with people effectively.
- Dress for other peoples comfort. Don't worry, you can still be best dressed Mr. and Mrs. Fashion but make sure your attire aligns with the situation. You want to be approachable.
- Find common ground - quickly - absolute must when connecting.
- Less is more. If people want more they'll connect with you at a later date or they'll ask.
- Be cautious of jokes BUT if you can't resist make sure it's at your expense. This displays humility and makes you approachable.
- Listen intently...pause...then respond and refer to tip #3. (Super struggle for me - people love being heard - super important!)
- Always end a conversation by using the persons name - people love their name. (I.e. It was nice to meet you _____. Enjoy the rest of your evening.)
There is no secret science to this. These are just key pointers I TRY to use when I am in unfamiliar territory. There is no replacing the trial and error method so get out there, start engaging!