Networking & How to Meet People Easily in English (Even If You’re Shy)

Networking & How to Meet People Easily in English (Even If You’re Shy)

Hey, it’s Annemarie with Speak Confident
English and for this week’s Confident English lesson, I want to talk about networking and how
to meet new people in English easily. Now if you just cringed when
I said networking and thought, bleh,
I hate networking, well you’re definitely not alone and
it might be for one of three reasons. Perhaps you just don’t know
what to say in English. You’re not sure about the right questions
to use at a networking event and you never know what to say when someone
asks you a question or maybe like me, you’re an introvert and
you’re naturally shy. So meeting all of those new people and
finding something to talk about feels really uncomfortable and it’s
something you definitely avoid. Or number three,
it might be a combination of both. So in today’s lesson we’re going to look
at six strategies that use your skills as an introvert to make networking easier. Plus I’ll give you the language that you
need so that you can do it in English with confidence. Strategy number one is, remember,
it’s okay to give yourself some time. Do you ever feel like you need way more
time than most people to get comfortable at a networking event to think about what
you want to say and then you get tired really quickly and other people seem to
be enjoying it and having fun and just jumping into conversations easily.
If you feel like that, you’re absolutely right. Introverts do need more time to
process information and we easily get overwhelmed by noise, crowds,
and lots of different stimuli. In fact,
Marti Olson Laney, author of The Introvert Advantage talks
all about this in her book and her research shows that introverts require
more time and their brain has to work harder in order to process information,
thoughts, feelings, events, and so much more.
So yes, you do need more time to prepare
and get comfortable and that’s okay. Do a little bit of research
before the networking event, whether it’s a dinner party,
an after work event, or you’re meeting new
people in your neighborhood. Think about the kind of people who
might be there and what kinds of conversations you might be having. Are they all going to be work focused
or related to your profession or again, if it’s meeting new neighbors,
it’s probably going to be about families, children,
what you do in your free time and so on. As you think about the kind of people
that you’ll be interacting with, start to prepare some questions
that you’d like to ask, and if you’re not sure
about the questions to ask, I actually have a fantastic lesson you
can watch on how to master the art of small talk in English. I’ll definitely
leave a link to it just below this video. Now that brings me to strategy number two,
which is to shift your mindset. Your mindset is a powerful tool that
influences how you feel and just a small change in your mindset can have enormous
impact and help you to stay positive. So rather than thinking
about this networking event
as a necessary evil that you have to do for your work, change it to an opportunity to meet new
interesting people and have meaningful conversations.
Here are a few more examples. If before a networking
event you always think, oh, this is going to take forever. I want you to shift that mindset to I
can be positive and engaging for one hour at this event. Number two instead of thinking that
small talk is just a waste of time, shift that mindset to I wonder what the
most interesting conversation I can have today might be. Example number
three is instead of thinking, oh, I never know what to say.
Shift that mindset to I wonder what question I could
ask to get everybody else talking. And that brings me to
strategy number three, which is to use your secret weapon
as an introvert. Ask questions. Introverts are fantastic question askers
because they love letting other people do all the conversation work. It gives them time to think about what’s
happening in the conversation and what they might want to say when they
have an opportunity to do so. So use this to your advantage. Now I have one recommendation when it
comes to asking questions and as you prepare for questions you might want to
use avoid questions that only have a yes or no answer. For example,
are you having a good time? Have you lived here long
or are you into football? All of those questions can be
answered with a simple yes or no. And that means you have to do more work
to ask another question and keep the conversation going. So make it easier on yourself by asking
questions that we call open questions. These are questions that start with words
like who, what, when, where, why, how, how many, how much, how
often you get the idea. So instead of those yes or no questions, think about questions like what’s been
the highlight of your year so far? What are you working on these days? Why did you decide to
come to this conference? What kind of projects do
you have coming up at work? All of those questions require
much more in depth answers. The other person is doing most of the
work of speaking and it gives you time to think about what you might want to add to
that conversation. And here’s a secret. The cool thing about all of that,
when you’re a great question asker, it naturally makes you a more
interesting person in conversations. If you’re not sure, I have a full lesson on this topic of
how to be more interesting in English conversations and again, I’ll leave
a link to it just below this video. Strategy number four is to find common
areas of interest to easily continue the conversation. After you’ve
asked a fantastic question
from strategy number three, listen carefully to the answer.
As you do that, you’ll identify areas where you have
common interests and those areas will make it easy for you to think about
questions you could ask to continue the conversation or even give
you opportunities to share
your own opinions and ideas. A great way to do this is to show that
you’re listening by reflecting back what you’ve heard and then adding on
that question. Here’s an example. Imagine that Sarah, in the
accounting department where you work, is talking about how difficult it’s
been this year because of new tax regulations and laws.
After she’s finished speaking, you can reflect back what
you’ve heard an ad on, a follow on question like it sounds
like that’s been really challenging and you’re having to work much longer hours. What do you think would make it easier
or what should change? In that example, I showed that I was listening by repeating
some of her language that her work has been really difficult and she’s
working longer hours and then I asked some open questions to
continue the conversation. Here are a couple more
examples of how to do that. If someone’s talking about their
love of cooking, you might say, oh, I love cooking too.
What’s your favorite cuisine? Or what’s your favorite dish to make?
Or, oh, you’re really into football. Who’s your favorite team?
As you do that, it’s time to move on to
strategy number five, which is to make it easy on yourself
to participate in the conversation and here’s my number one
recommendation for how to do that. Going back to strategy number one is
thinking about the kinds of questions you might want to ask before you go to the
networking event. When you do that, make sure to take time to also prepare
how you would answer those same questions and here’s why.
When we’re networking, making small talk and
getting to know someone. Most of the time you will ask a question, someone will answer and when they’re
finished they’ll say, and what about you? You can make it so easy on yourself to
participate in that conversation and network easily by preparing your
ideas and answers ahead of time. And finally,
strategy number six is be genuine. It’s absolutely okay to be an introvert
and to be uncomfortable with networking. Most introverts are, we just have to find these other
strategies that help us do it easily, but it’s okay to embrace it and admit
that you don’t love those events. In fact, doing so can actually be a great
way to start conversations easily. Here’s an example. If you’re attending a conference and you
have a networking event in the evening, you might use something like,
you know, I have to be honest, I’m really terrible at breaking
the ice and making small talk, so I’ll just introduce myself.
I’m Annemarie, I’m an online teacher and entrepreneur.
What about you? In that example, I’ve embraced the reality that I’m really
not good at making small talk and I found a way to introduce myself and ask
a question to start the conversation. Here’s another example.
Hey, I’m Annemarie. I run an online company called
Speak Confident English. And I have to admit sometimes I find
these networking events a little overwhelming. There’s so many new
people to meet. How about you? In that example,
I’ve done a quick introduction. I’ve admitted that I’m a bit of an
introvert and find these events a little overwhelming and I’ve immediately opened
an opportunity for a conversation. And with that question I might even
find that the other person easily feels overwhelmed or nervous about
small talk and networking as well. And that immediately gives us
something in common to talk about. Now that you’ve got these strategies and
some of the language that you need to make networking and meeting new people
easy in English, I want you to practice. So here are a few challenge
questions I have for you. Number one, you’re at a conference and you’ve just
sat down next to someone who works in your industry. So you want to start a conversation
with them and get to know them. How would you do that? How could you combine the strategies
and use some of the questions that we’ve talked about here to do that easily?
Question number two, you are attending a social event where
you live and at that event there will be people who are connected to your
industry and also people that might be potential customers. What would
you say to someone at that event? As always, you can share your answers with me in the
online lesson or just below this video. And don’t forget to watch the other videos
I mentioned on small talk and how to be interesting in conversations and be
sure to subscribe to this channel so you never miss a future
Confident English lesson.

Author: Kevin Mason

41 thoughts on “Networking & How to Meet People Easily in English (Even If You’re Shy)

  1. Hello teacher Ann-Marie .
    Thank you so much for this new video it was really useful for me .
    Actually I've been in Malaysia so I really didn't have any options to be quite so I felt a little bit shy and scared in the first time but after a while I was confident to use my english so I started speaking with natives like American and British and I felt my tongue speak more quickly than before also I made a friendships with them and now I use it every day.
    Thank for your advice about recording my self really it helps me so much.
    And I keep going to do the best in the future

  2. Mam, as usual you did a great job. Your lecture style is so impressive and I love to watch your lectures. And also techniques you often share with us always help us and make us able to speak fluent with confidence. I’m looking forward to share more videos. ❤️💫👍

  3. Actually,I find it hard to have a small talk with any relative of mine.No wonder it is even harder to do that in English 😞

  4. Your lessons are very helpful not only for studying English but also for learning how to live.
    If l participate the networking event and listen to a talk, l will say “Hello, I think today’s Annemarie’s speech was so great, don’t you think?
    Thank you very much Annemarie!!!

  5. Hi Annemarie,
    Wonderful lesson about how to start conversation in English with anyone for learners. I admire your suggestions and follow.
    Thank you.

  6. 4:23 exactly! Sounds like something I would do asking questions so others talking more and I can just listen and get more comfortable around people lol. All things you mentioned in the video about introverts are true. It seems you really know how "these" people work. I know many people who don't do and they often don't understand you especially if they are extroverts. By the way good tactic to admit that it can be hard to break ice in a conversation. I think you can do this also as a native speaker if you're insecure or an introvert. it's just honest and it makes you more likeable as a person. lol I whish I had this tips earlier in mind. For example: I had many conversations in the past( In my main language) in front of some people and I made mistakes while I was speaking. I felt really bad about myself and put a lot of pressure on me. I always tried to act like I was confident in these situations with people but I really wasn't hehe. With your tips in mind so many speeches would have been easier. 🙂

  7. Hello, teacher. Can you indicate a teacher on plataform italki or cambly? If you are available. How can l contact you?

  8. I think so many people understand english around the world, but when it comes to conversation or speaking in public mostly fear of making mistake and using proper grammar…that's the problem…mom, thank for the video…it's very…nice

  9. Do you know what is the most icredible? First time I understand everything without stopping and subtitles. It gives me such strong hope that there is a chance for my English as well. It was my great dream – to uderstand what native speaker says. Thank you.

  10. Yes I always had questions and n my mind even if we learned communication with others but still some times front person doesn’t interest and administered then we should change the subject or what else we can talk or tell them u can speak as what ever subject u like ! Is it right way too keep conversation continue !

  11. Hello I like your lessons you help me a lot… For me I have a problem to practice my English and to speak with others people..

  12. I really feel comfortable with you my favorite beautiful teacher especially your voice and your amazing smile thanks so much

  13. Hi, in networking we will meet alot of people who are diffrent position. what we should do if we talk to someone that more higher ranking but he ignore us or seems like he not interested to talk?

  14. AnnMarie your videos are full of positive energy and always very easy to process. Thanks to make this content and share it with us. It Is very impressive how you express how you feel when you are learning, as an adult, a new language. Thanks again, it helps me to understand my process even more.

  15. Your videos are very helpful. I like that you give examples from formal to casual. I talk with native speakers at work and narried to an american and so i like that i can apply one topic to both settings. Hope you can also add how to converse in tgese situations when in skype meetings …like meeting new people , how to introduce a new person, how to introduce your self in a big group. A lot of us are faced with these situations but dont see the faces which makes it a bit more trickier. Not sure if you already have but will look 🙂 thanks again!!!

  16. MarieAnne; as always I found this lesson very helpful and motivating because I consider myself very introvert and I really suffer when a I attend a social networking event. but now with this lesson my suffering will stop because I now have I strategy to follow every time I have any of those events. God bless you

  17. Thank you so much for your contributions! I feel that you are more than a teacher you can feel what's the language learners are going through, I'm so thankful to find a good chanel like this one. Please keep up the good work 😊

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