Ever listen to someone speak about a topic he or she is passionate about?
Think about animal advocates, cancer survivors calling for research, sports fans discussing the greats their franchise has seen over time…you get the idea.
Agree with them or not, it’s hard not to find their enthusiasm contagious. It’s that zest you should share with the people you meet as you find yourself at networking functions. Go to your passions and you won’t have to worry about coming up with conversation. Just discuss what comes naturally, what you know.
Share, Don’t Sell
Hopefully, one of your passions is your business, a service, or a product with which you work. If so, share why you love it with new connections. When you are sincere in how you feel, it is more likely that you’ll be seen as genuine rather than just looking to drum up business. Talk about what intrigued you about working in your field or for your company, what keeps you there, why you are excited to go to work each day.
Business is not always a natural lead topic though, so remember to answer even simple questions like “How are things?” with something memorable, rather basic responses and conversation-killers like “okay,” “stressful,” and “busy.”
The Back and Forth
Bringing passion and feeling to a conversation also helps put others at ease by letting them learn about you, first. This leads to a natural flow of conversation, all feeling secure in opening up and getting to know each other. It also makes the discussion a memorable one.
Another way to be remembered is by being a good listener. While someone else is sharing his or her passion, be sure to be attentive and to engage. No one wants to open up to someone they feel is disinterested in what they have to say. Remember to share compliments too, as long as they are genuine.
Ready to meet some new, passionate professionals? Pagoda Business Network would love to meet you! Learn more about us at www.pagodabusinessassociation.com.
Nikki Murry is editor of Berks County Living magazine and a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and blogger. In her free time she is an active dog rescue volunteer and enjoys spending time with her 13-year-old son, Riley, and her three dogs: Buddha and Shelly, French Bulldogs, and Bruno, a Boston Terrier.