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Open-Ended Questions: A Cheat Sheet

Try these conversation starters at your next networking event; you’ll be a networking superstar in no time. These are especially useful if you find making small talk difficult, as the other person does most of the talking. Also, reports have shown that the person who talks the most in a conversation usually enjoys it more. This tactic works like a charm if you are trying to impress someone and hopefully get them interested in your product or service.

About the Event

  • “What brought you to this event today?”

  • “How did you hear about this event, and what interested you in attending?”

  • “Have you been to similar events before? Any favorites?”

About the Industry or Company

  • “What excites you most about [industry/company]?”

  • “How do you see [industry/company] evolving in the next few years?”

  • “What initially drew you to work in [industry/company]?”

Personal Interests

  • “Outside of work, what are your passions or hobbies?”

  • “Do you have any favorite books, movies, or TV shows you’ve enjoyed recently?”

  • “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?”

Professional Background

  • “Tell me more about your professional journey and how you got into [industry]?”

  • “What aspects of your work do you find most fulfilling?”

  • “What challenges have you encountered in your career, and how did you overcome them?”

Current Trends

  • “Are there any emerging trends in [industry] that interest you?”

  • “How do you think recent developments in [industry] will impact our work?”

  • “What are your thoughts on the latest [industry-related news]?”

Event or Venue Related

  • “What do you think of the venue? Have you been here before?”

  • “Any interesting sessions or speakers you’re looking forward to at this event?”

  • “What’s been the event’s highlight for you so far?”

Use this list of questions to inspire you to create your own list. Using the questions you have formulated will make you even more confident. And make some of them specific to the event you are attending.

Remember, the key is to ask questions that invite more than a simple “yes” or “no” response. The questions above encourage others to share more about themselves, fostering a more engaging and meaningful conversation.

To read the full issue of The Leading Edge CLICK HERE

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