What Do You Say After You Say Hello? 10 Tips How to Enjoy Networking Meetings

Learn how to make every interaction count and how you can truly enjoy the networking experience.

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What Do You Say After You Say Hello? 10 Tips How To Enjoy Networking Meetings

What Do You Say After You Say Hello? is the title of Eric Berne’s famous book on transactional analysis. I just love the title! In this post we won’t reflect on your life-script though, but focus on what you can actually do after the person in front of you has said ‘Hello’ to you.

1. Don’t know what to say? Use Active Listening:

• Pay close attention to what others are saying, summarise and ask follow-up questions based on the information they shared. This shows genuine interest and keeps the conversation flowing.
• Communicating well with other people doesn’t mean that you need to TALK all the time, but rather LISTEN all the time. People like to be heard.

2. Create a short Elevator Pitch to introduce yourself:

• Work on crafting a short elevator pitch. This pitch should briefly introduce yourself, name your 2-3 key skills or interests. It is a basis for further conversation. Practice this pitch until it’s natural and doesn’t sound rehearsed.

3. Develop Small Talk Skills:

• Find common ground or shared interests to initiate conversations.This can be related to the event you’re attending, industry news, or general topics of interest.
• Good opening questions are:
“What brings you to this event?”
“How do you know the host?”
“How was your journey to this event?”

4. Use Open-Ended Questions:

• Use open-ended questions that require more than a yes/no answer. For example:
“What inspired you to get into your line of work?” instead of “Do you like your job?”

5. Prepare Ahead:

• Do some research before attending networking events. Knowing who will be present and a bit about their backgrounds can help you in opening the conversations and connecting.

6. Show Positive Body Language:

•  Examples are good eye contact, a firm handshake, a welcoming, straight posture and approachability = smile!

7. Remind People of Your Conversation and Follow Up:

•  Follow up after a networking event. Send an email with your details in the signature or connect on Social Media. Thank them for the nice conversation you had / their helpful tips.

8. Practice and Ask For Feedback:

•  Practice in different settings. Ask a friend or trusted colleague to observe you in a (network-) meeting and ask for their feedback:
•  What have they observed?
•  What was the effect?
•  What tip do they have for you?

9. Consider role-playing with a coach.

Play out scenarios in which you simulate real-life networking situations with a coach. With your coach, you can try out new sentences and posture in a safe environment and build your confidence. (I am happy to support you!)

10. Breathe, Enjoy and Move on.

You don’t have to perform, you are good as you are. Just breathe, be curious, look the other in the eyes, listen, summarize and trust that each question and answer will lead to the next. When you feel that you want to move on:
“Thank you, I really enjoyed talking to you. Now I am curious who else is here. Enjoy the party/meeting!”

Have fun meeting new people this holiday season and pat yourself on the shoulder after a networking meeting!

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