After reading some of my posts here, someone might get the mis-impression that I don’t think you should ever talk about yourself in a networking situation. After all, it’s always supposed to be about the other person, right?

Well, not quite.

What I have been trying to convey is that our focus should be on how we can help the other person. Leading with our life story is unlikely to achieve that goal. If they should ask us, though, it would be completely rude not to respond. So all you have to do is wait for them to ask.

I know, I know.  That doesn’t sound like a particularly viable plan.  I mean, just waiting for them to ask could result in a lot of nothing. Here’s the trick. If there’s anything you want someone to ask you, ask them that same question first. Think about it. Doesn’t this happen in conversation all the time?

“Hi, Bob. How are you?”
“Doing fine, Jim. How are you?”

“How’s business lately?
“Doing well. How about you?”

“Doing anything exciting this summer?”
“We’re heading north to do some camping. What about you?”

This is also why you should be prepared to answer any question you pose, because it will often be lobbed right back at you in a normal conversation.

Now, does this work every time? Nope. The person you may be speaking with just may not be a particularly social person. It’s also possible that they are so excited about their answer to your question that they end up talking for hours. Still, for the most part, this works wonderfully.

So, get out there and get them to ask you about you…

… and be ready to shine.