Don’t know what to say to start a conversation? Try This.

I am always trying to learn what I can and share what I know with you all and I realized this week that I naturally do something that is a “thing”/a technique in networking that may help you the next time you find yourself in a group of people trying to figure out what to say.

I have been going to a lot of offline networking functions lately and I have noticed there are some people that walk around the room, passing out their cards and leading in to the conversations about what they do.  It’s apparent that they are there to get clients, heck, we all are, but the difference in approach can massively increase your KLT (know-like-trust) factor.

Here’s the secret: People don’t care what you know or what you do until or unless they know that you care.  People love to talk about themselves and we as Americans love to talk about what we do.  The quickest way to endear yourself to a person is to get to know them.  I don’t just mean their name and what they do for a living, but them as a person.

This is pretty natural for me because I love people and I’m nosy-scratch that- curious.  It really helps me to connect people because I know more about them.  So, back to my original point, I learned a little acronym that will help you be more curious when you are around people you don’t know.

The next time you are surrounded by strangers, get curious.  Just remember FORM:

Family

Does the person have siblings? Do they have kids? Married, for how long?  Consider it nosy if you want to, but I am trying to find the key to a long, happy married.  Maybe you want to know how to build a business while juggling 4 kids?  You won’t know until you ask.

Origin

Occupation is the original word, but it’s so overdone and I love learning about different cultures, so the minute I hear an accent, I want to know where a person is from.  I can talk about my travels there or desire to travel there.  Here in Georgia, there are a lot of transplants, so I like to know when I’m talking to an original Georgia Peach.

Recreation

What do they like to do for fun?  I have met people who like to jump out of planes, hike, knit, etc.  I personally, love cycling, so if you get me to talking about that, I just may not stop. (just kidding)

Message

Just talking to a women about her message, inspired me to pull together two women at an event and call a third for a possible collaboration because their messages where similar and inspired me.

What about you?  What techniques do you use to break the ice and really get to know people?  I’d love to hear your techniques below. Or, if you typically have trouble speaking to people you don’t know, did you find this list to be helpful?  Go ahead, don’t be shy…

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