All too often everyone asks the same questions at a networking event:
“What do you do then?”
“Have you traveled far?”
“Do you live nearby?”
Small talk like the above examples is essential to get the conversation started but it can be a little more interesting.
For example, rather than ask someone “What do you do then?”, I prefer to look and see if they have a name badge, lets say it’s “David”, and then I will say in a curious tonality:
“So, what keeps David busy during the week then?”
This also enables the other person to talk about any aspect of life or what is currently happening in their life.
Let’s say David has told me he works in a law firm. I will then look to ask him interesting questions to get him to open up…
“So, what’s the most exciting case you’ve been involved in?”
“Ever had to defend or prosecute anyone famous?”
“How did you get into the legal world? It must be exciting, I imagine it like a TV detective show”
The above ideas still work if they don’t have a name badge…..instead you can just say “Hi, I’m Mark, I don’t think we have met before?”….they will then respond with their name and you can continue with “So, what keeps Mary busy during the week?”….assuming of course they said their name was Mary… 🙂