By | Adrian J. Hopkins | www.themuse.com
My golden rule of networking is to be ready. When you have great questions for the people you’re talking to, you have even better conversations. And you don’t waste your or others’ time with idle chatter where no one learns anything new.
That’s why, when it comes to attending events that feature speakers or panelists, I believe in preparing great questions. People who speak at these types of events are typically leaders in their field, and thus are the crème de la crème of networking contacts. And the best way to show that you’re worth connecting with is to look like you know what you’re looking for and what help you need from others to get it.
So, when there is a break for questions, seize the moment! But before you take the mic, heed the advice of the late great ESPN anchor Stuart Scott:
“Ask one question. You don’t have to ask a long question. You don’t have to ask a question where you’re using so many words because you think that it shows that you know the subject matter. Ask a question that really warrants an answer.”
Here are some questions that will show speakers your thoughtfulness, add knowledge for the whole group, and ultimately help you make a lasting impression.
Questions to Learn About Their Journeys
When people agree to join panels, they’re making it clear that they enjoy talking about themselves and what they know. Show that you’ve paid attention to what they’ve said and that you want more context about who they are. Don’t be shy about a little ego-stroking!