Here’s the last of my 3 rules for making networking events low-stress & high-impact.
Rule #1 for working the room is to be welcoming. Rule #2 is to be memorable.
Rule #3 (of 3) Working a room: Be nosey
At least, that’s what my son called it when I chatted up his high school friends. Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People, would call it “showing interest.”
Being nosey boils down to one thing: Ask QUESTIONS. Yes, I know that I also focused on asking questions in Rule #2, being memorable. But that was a different kind of question, one whose purpose was to make YOU memorable due to your thoughtful questions.
When you’re being nosey, your questions aren’t focused on being memorable or interesting. They’re about being genuinely interested in the other person.
The point of these 3 rules is to suggest easy, comfortable ways to work a room of mostly strangers. Being nosey should be easy because it’s what many of us do every day. Once you open the conversation & the other person starts talking, you simply probe & push the door wider into the topics they open.
Being nosey requires little more than encouragement to keep most people talking. “Really? Why? How’d you do that? That’s interesting. Tell me more. Hmmm.” How tough is it to ask those types of nosey questions?
Note that none of the 3 rules requires saying much about about yourself or spewing great wisdom. The questions that others ask rarely require you to give inventive or taxingly thoughtful answers. So just relax, be welcoming, be memorable, & let the conversation flow where it will.
What are some of YOUR techniques for being nosey at networking events?