“Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person’s success or failure than mental capacity.” – Kemmons Wilson, Founder of Holiday Inn
There you are… in a room full of strangers. Just little ole’ you, all by yourself. Then, amongst the wide sea of people you spot her (or him). That person that you would most like to work with. Now what? You gather your courage, march over and introduce yourself. Then crickets…. chirp chirp. Nothing else comes out of your mouth and you both stare at each other.
YES, we have all been there (me more times than I can count, seriously!). A burst of courage and then we fall into the cellar with no way out. Yes it is frustrating and let’s face it, a tad bit scary, but there is a strategy that you can implement to propel yourself out of the cellar and back into the game.
HERE ARE 10 CONVERSATION STARTERS THAT PUT YOU IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT, BUT FOCUS ON THE OTHER PERSON AND KEEPS THEM ENGAGED.
- What do you love most about your line of work?
- What’s your favorite part of the event so far?
- Are you originally from [wherever the event is], or did your business bring you here?
- This is my first visit to [wherever the event is]. What do you recommend I see while I’m here?
- Who are some of your favorite experts or authors?
- How did you get into the industry?
- I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed by the amount of info that’s being thrown at us today. Is there one bit of knowledge that’s really resonating with you?
- What is the best piece of advice you got early on in your career?
- What’s the absolute WORST business advice you’ve ever received? Did you sense the ridiculousness immediately, or did you have to learn by trial and error?
- I love your bag (or suit or coat or shoes or hair color, etc) Where’d you get it?
The biggest point from all of this is for you to ask questions and get the other person talking. The more that person answers your questions and talks, then less you have to talk and the more you can listen. But the biggest win is, the longer the conversation then the more likely that person will remember you. Take a deep breath and step into your Oprah shoes!