8) Have a Plan
If you are going to a networking meeting or professional conference where you need to make conversation and feel anxious about it, plan ahead. Try memorizing a set of conversation steps.
Step 1 – Introduce yourself and ask for the person’s name.
Step 2 – Comment positively on something the other person is wearing. For example, it might be their cool glasses, shoes, or dress color.
Step 3 – Next, comment on something or someone in the room. Maybe the cheese dip is the best you’ve ever tasted, or the man in the red shirt looks just like the governor.
Step 4 – Ask about their profession. Follow up with several additional questions. What do they like the most about their job? How long have they been working there? Keep peeling the onion.
Step 5 – Inquire about their education, hobbies, and how they spend their free time. Find common ground and allow the conversation to continue naturally.