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Networking 101 – The Art of Conversation

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After one hundred and seventy articles on how to Network, I am getting to the point where it is becoming difficult for me to think about how to say things differently and I am beginning to dread the weekly post. That’s just not too good at all, I am sure you will agree. So I have decided that this will be the last Networking article for a while. Don’t fret though, it does not mean that I will never give any more advice about Networking, but rather that I am taking a bit of a vacation from writing about Networking.

So now, onto the last tip on Networking in this series.

I think that it’s appropriate to push the buttons a little and talk about the ‘art of conversation’.

At so many Networking meetings that I have attended, there is always the person who hogs the conversation and who drones on and on about how fabulous they are and how wonderful they are. You know the type I am sure. Its the person who, no matter what you’ve done or you’ve accomplished or where you’ve gone and what you’ve seen, they have done it all and what’s more – they have done it better and faster and. . . . ja – we are all well versed with this type of individual.

It’s one of the quickest ways to empty a room though and to be quite honest, I no longer even entertain these individuals, I have been known to just walk away mid-sentence!

Sure it’s great to keep the conversation flowing, sure it’s great to help the newbies who are too scared to open their mouths, and sure it’s great to assist the introverts who would prefer not to say anything at all.

Fact is though that if everybody is not taking part in the discussion, all you are doing is standing on your soapbox as you deliver your soliloquy. How sad is that?

Fact is, everybody is there for the same reason, everybody wants to engage with like-minded people, everybody there wants to start building relationships and everybody wants to tell people about what they do and who they are.

Breaking the ice to get the conversation going is really great, but talking for the sake of talking will be the death of any kind of relationship that you hoped to get going.

So find the common ground – interesting, light-hearted things to get going and everyone included in the conversation – you’ll be so glad you did.