You walk into a party, or your association monthly meeting, or a networking event and everyone is talking to everyone else. And they all look animated while you’re standing there trying not to find the exit.
Recently, one of our blog readers, Val Cronin – an attorney, wrote: “I have always hated ‘meet and greets’ and parties, because I never knew what to say to people. Having Karen’s formula to follow makes it a lot easier.”
Val is recalling a past video on our YouTube channel. I asked Val, “Can you tell me the formula, from your point of view?”
He replied, “Going to a party used to make me feel like a little kid who was lost in the mall – ‘how do I get out of here?’ Your video gave me a formula that works and I have used it successfully. Here is your good advice.”
- Shake hands and if there is an awkward silence….ask “How do you know the host?” or “What brings you to this event?”. It is a simple conversation starter and there is no wrong answer.
- Ask others about themselves. Intuitively, we think that marketing means talking about ourselves to impress others. But you can make a better impression by asking them about themselves and learning what is important to them.
- Avoid talking about religion and politics. If you don’t know the person and you guess what his or her leanings are – and you get it wrong – you may convert someone from a prospect to someone who actively does not like you.
- Think about what you find compelling in a conversation. How often have you been subjected to someone’s boring list of places they visited while on a trip? Instead, tell a funny story/mishap from that vacation.
- Give a sincere compliment, even if you don’t do it eloquently. If you stumble a little bit, people realize you must mean it, because it is not rehearsed.
Finally, Val commented, “I no longer feel the need to escape from parties at the earliest opportunity.”
Thank you, Val, for sharing this formula from your perspective.
PS: Val and I were high school classmates at Thomas Jefferson (TJ) High School in Dallas. When I told Val I was going to use his comments in our blog he replied, “Good. I thought you were going to grade my writing. At TJ I understand you were only familiar with the ‘A’ grade. I was more broadminded than you. I expanded my horizons to include the ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’.”
Ha! You can find out more about Val Cronin and his legal practice at https://underwoodperkins.com/val-c-cronin/.
Photo ©: 123RF Stock Photo
© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.
Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog
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Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker