Do you find it difficult starting up conversations with people? Do you stay away from business gatherings, especially because of this? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, I used to have this problem, but here are great conversation starters that worked for me in the past.
- “I don’t know anyone here, so I thought it best to introduce myself. I’m Mr A and I do this and that”
You have to say this with confidence, or you’ll end up coming off as needy. They might be worried that if they talk to you, you’ll cling to them the whole day, since you don’t know anyone. So, be quick to give the impression that you want to meet other people as well.
- “So, why did you decide to come to the fair?”
This should come after introductions. You don’t want to walk up to people and saying this at first. It’ll be weird.
- “What do you do?”
Yes. This works 100 percent of the time. People like to talk about themselves, so it is bound to get anyone talking. Be sure to get your information in there though, but don’t cut in. Wait till they finish.
- “How’s your day going? Enjoying the fair?”
This one should get anybody at the fair talking, because like you, they’re at the fair and should have an opinion about it.
- “So how did you hear about this event?”
It’s risky going with this question, as it can easily have a one-word answer. If this happens, respond quickly with your own elaborate answer. A conversation should spark up from there.
- “I love the ambience of this place…”
Going with this one can be tricky as it can easily sound like ‘the weather’ conversation starters. Boring! Make it unique by mentioning something you particularly like about Eko Hotel, which is where the event is taking place.
- “So much information? Which of the talks was most informative for you?”
Talking about the seminar should get you some interesting responses. People, who attend seminars are usually serious-minded and would want to connect with like minds. It’s also an easy way to start business talks.
- “Phew… I’m not good with networking, mind if I join you here where it’s quieter?”
If you’re shy and networking is hard for you, look for people like you and it might be easier to start up a conversation. Spot the people standing alone, or sitting alone and go for it.
- “Since we’re both here, I feel I should introduce myself. I’m Mr A and I do this and that.”
Sometimes, you might end up finding yourself in awkward situations, where you didn’t plan to end up alone with someone and you eventually do. Take control of the situation and ride on it. You might just end up laughing at it.
- “Nice jacket…”
People usually like themselves and most people enjoy compliments. We usually like to be nice to people who compliment us, so this should open up the conversation.
- “I’m trying to talk to everyone at the event. You’re probably my 10th. 1 million more to go.”
Then, introduce yourself. If you’re lucky, you’ll make them laugh and… there you go!
- “Do you find networking as awkward as I do?” If Yes, “Phew! Thank God I thought it was just me.” If No, “Wow, please give me pointers.”
And take it from there.
- “The only people I know here are the speakers, and I only know them because they’re on the brochure. So, mind if I meet you.”
You can modify the second sentence, work with the moment. The goal is to get a smile.
- If you want to join a group: “Ok, you guys seem more fun than most people here, mind if I join you? My name is Mr A and I do this and that.”
Be careful though, groups can be snobbish. If they don’t seem very welcoming, bail out fast so you don’t lose your enthusiasm.
- “Do you know where I can get food around here? I’m not familiar with the area.”
Try to stir this back to the fair as quickly as possible no matter the response you get.
Hope this conversation starters help you make great connections at the fair. Remember, the goal is to make business contacts, not necessarily friends. So, after you get someone talking, make sure to stir the conversation back to business.