This is clickbait. I saw an article with this exact headline the other day, and it was terrible. It was supposed to be an article to help people learn how to network, but instead it seemed geared towards people that have never participated in a conversation before. Much like the pickup line article I lambasted in an extremely popular and award worthy previous post, most of the advice was basically “Say noncrazy words out loud to a person, preferably in the form of a question. Don’t piss your pants or bite anyone.” No shit.
Anyway, as someone that is very good at talking to strangers and has a job that I like very much, I feel I am much better suited to give amazing networking advice than some dumb business writer. She is a journalist, which is a dying profession. If she was any good at networking she’d have a real job like me.
Here are my 8 killer opening lines to use at your next networking event. They are guaranteed to work. If they don’t work (whatever that means) you can get a refund from Kelsey. However, if you get a job using one of these, my consulting fee is only 10% of your first paycheck.
- “Help! Someone set the men’s room on fire!”
This doesn’t have to be true. There doesn’t have to be a fire. However, if you don’t have much to talk about, a followup story about how you got the toilet to catch fire will quickly get you referred to some pretty important people in the security department.
- ”I was just on LinkedIn, and I realized that my life is empty and devoid of meaning. What’d you eat for lunch?”
LinkedIn is a terrible ponzi scheme devoted to filling up your inbox with spam and adding extra work (and fees!) to your job search. However, the one thing that the other article got right is that business people won’t shut the fuck up about it. Preempt their enthusiasm by changing the topic to food. Speaking of food…
- “I’ve already eaten enough of the free food at this event to feel self-conscious and ashamed of myself. Can you come stand next to me and munch on some food so I’m not the only one?”
This demonstrates your ability to think outside the box and collaborate with others.
- When shaking their hand, say “If you shake it more than twice, you’re playing with yourself!”
This is a quick way to show how hilarious and fun you are. It will also remind the other person of being bullied in elementary school. This is actually a good thing, since those bullies are all failures and drug addicts now, whereas he is a businessman.
- “Where did you get that nametag? I didn’t see them at the entrance.”
A lot of people use this opening line on me at these events. It’s very effective. It usually leads to a very fulfilling conversation about how I always bring my own nametag to these events.
- “How’s it hanging?”
This is a clever and hilarious way to “break the ice” while you are “breaking the seal” …at the urinal! The men’s room is an important but often overlooked place to get in some great networking. It’s also usually the place to score drugs at this kind of event.
- “Want to see a dead body?”
You don’t have to have a dead body. However, if they REALLY want to see one, dead bodies are easy to make.
- “Sorry, were you saying something to me?”
I use this line all the time. Mainly because I’m terrible at paying attention when other people are talking to me.
See? Networking is easy. Have fun networking out there.