Have you ever struggled to start and hold conversations at networking events? I know I have and here’s how I overcame it through the use of the simple E.F.F.O.RT Formula.
E: Stands For “Event” Before attending an event, read up on industry news and trends to help you spark a conversation. Here are some questions you can ask:
1) Have you heard of this speaker before?
2) How did you hear about this event?
3) What made you come out to this event?
F: Stands for “Following/Favourite.” During the conversation, ask what industry-related social media groups they may follow in LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media networks. You can also ask them what their favourite book is. You can also ask what industry leaders they’re following.
F: Stands for “Food.”. When food is around, it is a great conversation starter.
It is where you have the opportunity to comment by saying something like” Have you tried the vegetable dip? It is really good.”
O: Stands for “Occupation.” Looking for a job is the prefect opportunity to use your elevator pitch.
Or, if you’re interested in learning about someone’s job or career progression, you could ask questions such as these:
1) What are your primary job responsibilities?
2) What experience did you have to get your job?
R: Stands for “Recreation.” During breaks it’s a great opportunity to ask of a person’s hobbies or interests.
1) What are your hobbies?
2) What are your intersts?
3) What do you like doing on the weekend or your free time?
T: Stands for “Transitions.” To keep the conversation going you can ask transition questions, such as:
1) What have you read or heard that is new or inspiring?
2) How can I help you meet your goals?
3) What’s the best way to keep in touch?
Once I master the formula, my networking events became more enjoyable. I built more confidence starting and holding conversations with complete strangers who eventually became my close strategic allies in moving my career forward! Simple E.F.F.O.R.T is all it takes to succeed at networking events.
Special thanks to Bourne To Learn for creating this great video for us. The funny thing is this was all accomplished through the power of networking! To learn more check out our Knockout Networking Bootcamp.