Are you nervous about an upcoming networking event? After all, you can’t just start every conversation by talking about the weather! There are different types of networking conversation topics, all designed to maintain relevancy and avoid getting too personal. The article covers six topics worth consideration and also a few ways to improve your conversation skills.
For some people, having a conversation with other people can be difficult. The problem is compounded during networking events, where you want to put your best foot forward without getting too personal. So, how do you strike a conversation at these events without coming across as aloof or awkward?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss:
6 networking conversation topics
How to work on your networking skills
A conversation on the weather might be a good starting point, but it’s also the most widely-used conversation starter in the world. At a networking event, you’re there for a specific reason, so you want to keep your discussion topics relevant.
Here are a six networking conversation topics worth considering:
Right off the bat, this type of conversation is crucial to understanding the other person’s perspective on their job. If you’re attending a networking event to conduct information interviews with people in your field of interest, ask questions about their job and what excites them the most about it.
Closely tying in with the previous question, this conversation starter is ideal if you want to learn about someone’s career trajectory and overall professional journey. When responding, the other individual is likely to start from the beginning—how they entered into the profession and what they’ve accomplished. This type of information is crucial if you’re looking to break into an industry or considering a career switch.
When you ask this type of question, your objective is to learn about the other individual’s networking skills. Are they pros at it and have been to several other networking events or is this their first time? If you’re interested in learning about other networking events taking place in your neighborhood, then consider asking this question. You might even run into someone who attends these events on a regular basis, and they can guide you better.
If there’s something making headlines in your area, it’s one of the ideal conversation topics in networking events. Talk to the other person, and get their opinion on the matter. This type of conversation is important for two reasons. First, it’ll tell you how up-to-date and concerned the individual is. Secondly, you may find something in common with them, and you two will have something to discuss.
This might come across as one of the unconventional networking conversation topics, but it’s a good way to keep the conversation light and engaging. After all, more people bond over music and movies than the similarities in their jobs. It’s also a nice way to take a small break from those mundane, professional questions.
In addition to the above-mentioned items, there are several other things you can talk about during a networking event. Here are a couple of other networking conversation topics:
What do you think about the food at this place (if the event has food)?
How did you hear about this event?
Have you been to this venue before?
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
What is the worst piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
It’s one thing to start a conversation, but it takes even more skills to keep the conversation going. If you feel like you need help keeping your conversations engaging, here are a few tips for you:
Prepare a small elevator pitch to introduce yourself.
Don’t focus too much on low-priority items, such as favorite movies and books.
Talk about your professional goals and aspirations.
Practice talking in front of a mirror.
Compliment any unique forms of personal expression, such as clothes and jewelry.
Are you looking for some more tips on networking or general career advice? Get in touch with us today!
Networking events can be nerve-wracking for some people.
To prepare for these events, it’s good to practice some networking conversation topics.
Make sure to create a small elevator pitch for yourself before attempting to network.
Asad's writing expertise lies in the fields of HR and marketing—putting him in the unique position of understanding the job-search process: both from the side of the applicant, and the side of the hiring managers. With this valuable blend of perspectives, he’s able to help his clients position themselves as top candidates for their desired roles.