Think about the standard networking events you go to: People don’t want to talk about just your industry.
The best networkers at these events are able to talk about more than just their job or their company. They also like to chat about timely events or fascinating topics, and this makes them more interesting to others.
If you want to up your networking game, the best thing you can do is to expose yourself to all kinds of new and interesting information. Taking just a few simple steps can give you a stockpile of conversation material that will make you more memorable and lead to strong, lasting network connections.
Listen to podcasts
There are podcasts for every topic under the sun, and most are filled with interesting tales and facts. This makes them a great source of conversation material.
Podcasts are also convenient. You can listen to them while you walk your dog or take care of chores around the house.
If you’re going to listen to a few podcasts, be sure to pick one or two on your favorite subjects and a couple about topics you’re unfamiliar with. This blend offers a range of information on many topics.
Seek out new facts
While you can’t base an entire conversation around trivia, tossing out a unique fact can help break the ice and get conversation rolling. Also, if you’re able to slip in the occasional interesting fact, it’ll make you seem interesting by association.
To build up a mental stockpile of unique facts, download a trivia game app or buy a trivia calendar. Or you could make it a regular habit to troll around Wikipedia by clicking on the “random article” link.
Listen and pay attention
Paying attention to others can make you seem more interesting for a few reasons. First, you can learn interesting new information, which you can then use in conversation later with different people.
Second, talking only 30 to 40 percent of the time ensures you won’t accidentally ramble on for too long and become boring. Since it’s hard to tell when someone is losing interest in what you are saying, it’s best to emphasize listening over talking.
Finally, everyone’s favorite topic is themselves, and putting the focus on the other person or persons will help you seem more interesting.
Try a fun or healthy experiment
We’ve all read stunt articles with headline like, “I ate hotdogs for a week” or “I lived without my smartphone for a month.”
These articles are engaging because seeing people take on a challenge is interesting. Giving yourself something to overcome is a great way to generate some interesting conversational material. And there’s no reason your experiment has to be unpleasant. Your project could be to identify your favorite California Chardonnay or the best local pizza.
From the journey to the outcome, you should have a lot to talk about. Just don’t preach about it; people don’t want to be told what to do or think.
At ZDA, we already have an extensive network that both companies and job seekers can take advantage of. If you are looking for a top supply chain recruiter or a job opportunity, please contact us today!