You know when you’re at a party or networking event and realize that you don’t actually know anyone? We get it—it’s tempting to hide yourself in the corner, scrolling through Instagram just waiting for a new post to pop up. That being said, we promise that you will have a much better time if you follow our five simple steps to putting yourself out there:
Just Say Hi
Seriously, it’s that easy. Chances are that if you approach someone sitting alone, they’ve been silently begging for a brave soul to come and save them. Even if there’s already a conversation going on, there’s no way you won’t be able to wow them with your snarky pop culture references or thorough knowledge of up-and-coming apps. So just do it—say hi.
Nail the Conversation Starter
Our go-to? You can never, ever go wrong with a compliment. Everyone loves to be noticed! Pro tip: Turn this around and wear one piece that’s a little more daring than the rest of your ensemble to easily grab (and keep) someone’s attention. If they can’t remember your name, “Woman with Killer Red Heels” is way better than “The One Who Said Something”.
Find Common Ground
Alright, so you’ve found an in with this person and a conversation has started. Now it’s time to find that one thing that, if necessary, could keep you talking for hours (okay, or just 10 minutes). Is she a dog lover? Did you grow up in the same town? Are your handbags by the same designer? It’s likely that one thing will lead to another and before you know it, you won’t even need our steps.
Get (a Little) Personal
We’re not saying you have to go and spill your entire life story, but one way to really hook someone into a conversation is to dig deeper. Whether it be pictures of your adopted niece or sharing your biggest business failure, a little bit of vulnerability will go a long way.
Follow Up Later
You went through all this work to get a conversation started and meet someone new. Why don’t you make it worth something? Ask for their business card or friend them on Facebook in order to keep in touch. That way, the next event you find yourself at, you might just already have a friend.