We all know that networking is one of the best ways to discover new opportunities and grow professionally, yet it can cause a lot of anxiety and discomfort. If you struggle with starting a conversation at networking events, consider these 15 icebreakers.
1. I haven’t been to this event before. Is this your first time attending too?
2. I’m trying to meet some new people. Do you mind me saying hello?
3. I’m excited for this weekend. I haven’t been to a movie in ages. Have you seen any good ones lately?
4. Is that an android? Do you like it? I’ve got an iPhone but I’ve been thinking of getting something new.
5. I love that necklace. Where did you get it?
6. What brings you to this event tonight?
7. I haven’t eaten since lunch. Have you eaten yet? What do you recommend I try here?
8. What do you do for fun when you’re not working or attending events like this?
9. I don’t know many people here. Can I introduce myself?
10. Are you from this area or did business bring you here?
11. I told myself that I’d talk to five new people tonight. Do you mind helping me out by being one of them?
12. What did you think of the speaker? Have you heard him/her speak before?
13. Did you catch the game yesterday?
14. How long have you worked in the industry?
15. This is a great event. Are there other similar events you’ve been to that I should also attend?
Tip: Collect business cards from everyone you meet and jot down a few notes about your conversation on the back of the card. You can then reference the conversation if you reach out to them in the future.
Most importantly, when you’re looking to start a conversation with someone new, don’t forget to smile! Sure, you may be uncomfortable, but you want to look approachable and friendly. Good luck!
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