This evening I attended a UCL Skills4Work workshop on networking. I signed up for it because networking is on my list of skills I want to improve on in the coming year. I came away with some useful ideas, so I thought I’d share them here:
- If you want to start a conversation with someone start with an open-ended question about them. Use the situation to help you think of something (you don’t have to go in with “So, what do you do?”).
- If a conversation isn’t going so well and you want to move on there isn’t really an easy way to do it. You just need the courage and to be honest. A good closing comment could be “Great to meet you, hope you have a great event.”
- Listening is really important. Aim to spend 70% of the time listening and 30% of the time talking.
- Your elevator pitch. I’d heard of this before, but not prepared one – it’s your 30 second answer to “What do you do?”. Say what you do, why you do it and what your passions are – don’t just list facts. Practice it, but make sure it doesn’t sound scripted. It should be flexible depending on the situation.