how to work a room

Making conversation with strangers, or even with casual business acquaintances, can be stressful, scary or (even worse!) boring. It can also be fun and enlightening and lead to new opportunities. Fireballs prefer the latter.

When meeting people and making conversation, first consider your objectives:

  • What is your brand and what impression do you want to make ?
  • What details do you want to share about your work, talents, and your personal life?
  • What information do you want to learn about the people you meet, on personal and professional levels?

Then use these 10* HOT ice breakers to help you work the room.
(*10 plus, because Fireballs are generous people, and love to talk)

1a. What are your plans for the weekend?  (ideal on Thursday and Friday)

1b. What did you do last weekend? (ideal on Monday and Tuesday)

(Use questions 2 through 10 on Wednesday 🙂 )

2. What inspired you to do what you do?

3a. What industry causes or issues matter most to you?

3b. What industry causes or issues matter most to your clients?

4. What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of work?

5a. Where did you grow up?

5b. Where did you go to school?

6a. What are your favorite projects to work on and why?

6b. Who are your favorite types of clients to work with and why?

7. What advice would you offer to young people entering your profession or industry?

8a. How did you hear about this event?

8b. How did you hear about this organization?

9. What trends do you see in your industry?

10. What are your favorite business books?

11. What are your favorite ice breakers ?  

An important note: if you’re planning to ask these questions, you should also prepare your own strategic answers. For example:

If you ask Cathy: “What did you do this weekend?”

And Cathy replies: “I took trapeze lessons, volunteered at the ASPCA and rehearsed my new networking workshop.”

And then Cathy asks you, “And what did you do this weekend?

And you reply: “I slept until noon and ate cake for lunch.”

This is probably not the impression you want to make.

Have fun, be curious and open, and use these ice breakers to carve out fabulous new relationships.