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Are you new to networking? Not sure what to say? Read these helpful tips.

Ask people about themselves. Most people love to talk about themselves.  Some good icebreakers are:

  • What do you do for work?
  • What company do you work for?
  • How did you hear about this event?
  • Do you belong to other meetup groups?
  • Is this the first time you have been to a meetup?
  • What town are you from?

How to use icebreakers:

First, start with smiling, everyone likes a friendly face. Then find someone new that is standing alone or with just one other person. Unless you are really brave, it’s too hard to introduce yourself to a whole group of people. Second, say hi. A simple “Hello, I’m Jennifer” will get the ball rolling. They will most likely introduce themselves back to you. Third, use an icebreaker from above. Once they have given their answer, then bond with the new person or persons over something similar. If you ask them what they do for work and they say they are a developer, and you are one too, let them know it. Or if you ask them where they work and they say XYZ software, and you know someone who works there, let them know. The more things in common others have with you, the more likely they will open up to you and continue the conversation. The key is to find common ground. After some more conversation, ask them if they would like to exchange business cards. If you do not have business cards, get some printed up, even if you are unemployed and looking for work, you can list your skills and a way to contact you. Also ask them if they would like to network on Linkedin. The worst thing they can say is no. After this, excuse yourself and find another person or two that looks interesting. You have to work the crowd. Now get out there and meet someone new!

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