So here are three tips that will help you break the ice…
People Love To Talk About Themselves
It’s true and one of the best ways to break the ice is to follow up an initial introduction “What do you do?” question with “That sounds interesting, how did you get into that?”. It’s an open question so people can’t give you a yes or no answer and it tends to lead to them giving you more opportunities to find a common ground. It’s also a bit more personal so they won’t feel under pressure to talk about their work which can sometimes be confidential. There are a whole load more questions here that you can follow up with too, try and remember a couple.
Practice Your Pitch
Having a succinct way of describing yourself, your work or what you want to get into is key so you can answer the question “What do you do?” or “Tell me about yourself?”. Practice this with a friend, parent or in front of the mirror. It’s your chance to shine and stand out so dropping in the odd personal thing to show you’re passionate about tech is nice. Lauren Currie has a great video on how to talk about yourself without cringing.
You might also like: Tips For Believing In Yourself
Follow Up Afterwards
On your way home or the next day follow up with the interesting people you met. If you’ve got someone’s business card, drop them an email. If not look them up on LinkedIn. If you can, try and send them an article or link to something you think that they would find useful or interesting based on your conversation. It can keep the conversation going and makes you more memorable to them. Also, you’re adding a bit of value to their life rather than (immediately) asking for something from them.
This piece was written by Nicola Battey, Product Lead at OVO Smart Home.
You might also want to read Letter To My Teenage Self, Karen explains how useful networking was for her during her career so far.