Master the mingle: How to have great conversations at social events for entrepreneurs


Published on RISE presentation by Sam Foxman, founder of Contemporary Productions

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Master the mingle: How to have great conversations at social events for entrepreneurs

  1. 1. Master the Mingle
  2. 2. Sam Foxman Senior Partner Contemporary Events
  3. 3. PRE-PARTY
  4. 4. <ul><li>Have an agenda (Business, friendship, meet new people, have fun, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Know your weaknesses (introverted, shy, OCD,etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Know the guest list / figure out who’s coming </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do a bit of research into the kind of things they enjoy, so you will be prepared to make meaningful conversations. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Know a little bit about the venue </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Law of Attraction People are drawn to people that look interesting
  6. 6. <ul><li>Dress Appropriately for the engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Add a conversation piece to your outfit </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize the perma-grin </li></ul><ul><li>Stand tall </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Standing up straight will help you act in a confident manner </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Look Approachable </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Send out signals that you're friendly, and you want to talk </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. How to break in
  8. 8. <ul><li>move through the room as if you've got all the time in the world, and there's nowhere you'd rather be. </li></ul><ul><li>Chat briefly with the people you already know and then prepare to get your mingle on. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a drink in your left hand </li></ul>Get Ready!
  9. 9. <ul><li>Look for the biggest gap in the group, stand in this gap and look at the people either side of you. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct your active listening signals to the speaker. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't interrupt, but join in with the pace of the group, copying the rest of the group, which will create bonding. </li></ul><ul><li>Wait until the speaker has finished, then talk about something they have just said, so you tag their conversation. Then start speaking, but introduce yourself quickly to the other people first. </li></ul>Break into a group
  10. 10. <ul><li>Don’t go in without a common topic </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask questions. A good start is how they know the host or host organization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Listen </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Respond </li></ul></ul></ul>Approaching an individual
  11. 11. <ul><li>Don't commit to one spot or one group </li></ul><ul><li>Mingling means interacting with all types of people. meet as many people as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Say some hellos, make a little small talk, then move on. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't stay in one conversation too long. </li></ul><ul><li>Make your exit from each group graciously, using your mingling as an excuse if need be, and leave them with the promise to chat later. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Conversation
  13. 13. <ul><li>Find a shared interest </li></ul><ul><li>Some common topics of interest include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>travel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food / wine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>career </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>children or pets (if you both have them) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hobbies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>current news topics (preferably nothing controversial) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Films and books </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>It’s not about you! </li></ul><ul><li>Practice active listening </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use eye contact and nod as they talk </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don't look away or past them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Face them front on and make sure your gestures are in pace with theirs. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use names frequently </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>DON’T! </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about physical injuries, sickness, accidents, death </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t talk like a sailor. No F-bombs! </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid any joke with race, religion, male/female, or sexual preference. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Gossip </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t overstay your welcome in the conversation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know how to gracefully end conversations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is perfectly fine to simply say, &quot;Excuse me, it has been nice meeting you&quot; or &quot;I've enjoyed our conversation.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. After the party
  17. 17. <ul><li>Touch base with everyone you met before leaving. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell them it was nice meeting them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get phone numbers or business cards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write back to them after the party, as appropriate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mention something you discussed with them during the party. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. THANK YOU!