Making connections when you’re networking in a room of strangers can be a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be that way, says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart.
She offers five ways to introduce yourself to people you don’t know at networking or other professional events.
1. Share an experience. Find out why you and the other person are at the same event. Ask about the other person’s role or purpose, and then keep the conversation going to find more commonalities to discuss.
2. Bring up your background. Talk about what you do. If possible, share a story about a client. Discuss a problem you’re helping to solve to illustrate your role.
3. Show the result. When you’re telling your client story, talk about the problem and the solution. For example, if you work for a legal firm, you can describe the legal problem your client faced and how you helped solve it.
4. Highlight your skills. Describe your career briefly—your niche, how long you’ve been working in it, and what your role is. “I started out working for financial firms and then switched to marketing agencies about 10 years ago. Now I work with the president and CEO.”
5. Mention something personal. Talking about your interests or hobbies can make you more memorable.
— Adapted from “5 No-Fail Ways to Introduce Yourself at a Networking Event,” Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Time.