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21 Ways to Start a “Networking” Conversation with Anyone

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When it comes to networking, you’ve got this. And why are we so confident in you? Because networking is just talking to people. That’s all it is—just talking. Half the battle is figuring out a natural opening line, so here, we’re arming you with 21 ideas for the next time you have an important event on your calendar:

1. “Where is the bar?”

2. “I just have to say how much I love your [dress/skirt/shoes/etc.]. Where is it from?”

3. “So, what brought you here tonight?”

4. “Have you heard [name of speaker] before? What did you think?”

5. “Are you from the area or did you travel here tonight?”

6. “How did you get involved with [name of organization]”?

7. “Think they’re serving appetizers tonight? I have to admit, I’m starving!”

8. “How long have you been with [name of organization]?”

9. “Hi, I’m doing a poll—will you or won’t you buy the new Apple Watch?”

10. “What did you think of [name of speaker]”?

11. “Hi, I’m doing a poll—Uber or Lyft?”

12. “Have you been to one of these events before?”

13. “Do you know if they allow social media here?”

14. “Which cocktail did you order?”

15. “What do you do at [name of company]?”

16. “How did you get into [industry]?”

17. “Hi, I’m [name]. I just wanted to say I’m such a fan of your work.”

18. “Hi, I’m [name]. I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your speech.”

19. “Do you know if there are any good restaurants around here?”

20. “Do you happen to know the person here who organized tonight’s event? I’d just like to thank them.”

21. “Did you come here with a friend or are you flying solo like me?”

Photo: Caiaimage / Sam Edwards / Getty Images

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