If you prefer to listen, click below.
To have a fascinating career, make bank, and have an impact….you must get yourself Out There (meaning out of your office.) Meet people outside your circle and own the room when you walk in. I say this having refused to walk into a crowded room of strangers at first networking even years ago.
The reason you don’t do this now is that you don’t know what to say. You don’t want to be slimy or a poor victim of the nonstop chatterbox.
From this day on….it can be totally different.
Own the Room…even when you don’t know what to say.
I have learned to enjoy networking events. Even though
(they take a lot of energy, – it’s totally worth it.
The thing is to spark INTERESTING conversations, not endure boring ones. (For boring monologues you sometimes run into, develop a Conversation Exit Plan or CEP.)
Interesting friendships comes from interesting conversations. Interesting conversations start with an imaginative question.
I don’t consider myself a good story teller, even though I can spin a good yarn on occasion. I’ve learned to get OTHERS to share their stories. That’s a triple win: I don’t have to say much, I learn, and the other person enjoys sharing their story with a new audience.
You can use your imagination to make networking events more enjoyable and more profitable.
By using your “conversation imagination”, you can…
- Make new friends
- Grow your business
- Solve an impossible problem
- Create a new aspect of your business
- Inspire yourself and others
- Be surprisingly enjoyable
- Get yourself invited to a fun party
- Learn things (like a cool new workout place or restaurant)
Own the Room with 25 Imaginative Conversation Starters
I made 25 imaginative conversation starters for YOU. They are designed for the business audience: clients, prospects, employees and people you meet in networking events. They also make intelligent ice breakers – in case you are tired of being asked about your favorite football team.
The brain actually releases dopamine when a person is asked a pleasantly unexpected question. Dopamine helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. When you ask this different and interesting question, then YOU become different and interesting in the brains of everyone involved.
Print them up for future reference (click the “email button” for printing option.) When you even tell people you are going to practice with some “imaginative conversation starters” the dopamine will flow and YOU will be noted!
It’s best to have your own answers ready for the question you ask. Sometimes people need a moment to answer and you can give them time by sharing your own response.
25 Imaginative Conversation Starters
1. Did anyone ever give you really bad career advice? Did you know it at the time?
2. What do you most enjoy in your daily work?
3. How is your work in reality compared to what you thought it would be?
4. If you could start your career over, what is a decision you might have made differently?
5. What is your best networking tip?
6. What is it like to work at your company?
7. Who, from the present or past, would be your ideal mentor?
8. What is a meaningful compliment you’ve received lately?
9. Whose personal style do you admire?
10. What have you read lately that impressed you deeply?
11. Have you ever been so grateful for something that years later, you’re still grateful for it?
12. Please tell me something about you that is not in your official bio.
13. How do you get your best ideas? (Followed by “How do you keep track of them?”)
14. If you could magically have the time and money for this, what kind of advanced degree program would you enroll in?
15. Have you ever worked on a Frankenstein project (meaning one plagued by disaster)?
16. How do you see creativity in action in your work?
17. What is your favorite part of the day?
18. Outside of work, what are you an expert on?
19. Do you consider yourself an extrovert, introvert or ambivert?
20. What is a big idea are you implementing at work these days?
21. If you weren’t here, where would you be?
22. How would you describe your communication style?
23. Have you ever won an award? What was it for?
24. If you were a writer, what kind of book would you author?
25. Do you have any unusual work habits?
Print this up (click to download: 25 Imaginative Conversation Starters) and bring it with you. You can practice with your team. One fun thing you can do with your team is to print up the list, cut out the questions and have everyone draw a question and answer it. I promise you’ll have fun. Please send me any stories using 25 Imaginative Conversation Starters.
Use your conversation imagination to develop your innate creativity, grow your personal influence, raise the level of positivity at work, have presence and other amazing accomplishments. (And get through certain family gatherings.)
If you want to be a master of Networking with Imagination, check out our learning lab on this topic.