Better Listener

How to Be a Better Listener in a Busy Room

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A networking event is a busy and bustling environment. Yet letting yourself get distracted can throw off a conversation entirely. It’s vital to remain focused on the person or persons in the group you are with, so your conversations can be enriched and furthered.

While it might be tempting, it’s not a good idea to stay huddled in a quiet corner, as that might set alarm bells off for some people and they may be hesitant to approach you. Instead, look for a quieter zone that is still in the main part of the room. Don’t move around the area too much, as that in itself causes distraction for yourself and others.

Another consequence of a busy room is properly hearing and remembering details of your conversations. Something I sometimes struggle with is remembering people’s names. At the end of the day I’ll be thinking, “Who did I speak to? Where and when? About what?”

If you can relate, I encourage writing a brief summary of your conversations on the back of the person’s business card. This practice has been very helpful for jogging my own memory!

When someone introduces themselves to you, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for their name twice, and then repeat their name yourself to help commit it to memory. See if they have the same last or first name as somebody famous or close to you, which will allow you to relate more strongly to their name.

Networking isn’t a numbers game for meeting as many people as you can, or securing a large pile of business cards. It is about developing trust and respect, and engaging in focused conversations with a small defined audience.

If you do miss or forget something you discussed, this is a great reason to follow up and deepen your connection.

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