How to Stand Out in a Crowd and Meet People

Do you ever go to party or networking work function and spot people who seem to know everyone and talking to everyone?

Before moving to Chicago full time, my partner and I lived in Michigan and for 18 months, had an apartment in Chicago, before transitioning here full time. It was our “weekend cabin.”

After a year of spending weekends here, we were out one Sunday having brunch with a friend who had lived here for 15 years. As we walked down the street and said “hi” to various familiar faces, he could not believe how many people we knew and did not even live here yet! And he questioned how we could possibly know more people than him.

 So many people go through life never talking to strangers. Or they are so self-absorbed they have no desire to meet new people. Or maybe someone is just shy and has a hard time stepping out of their comfort zone. We talk to strangers all the time and are always networking.

Here are a few tips to be that friendly, more out-going person…

Stand up straight and look people directly in the eye when talking to them. Self-assurance is very attractive. If you have to fake it, then fake it. It gets easier the more you practice. People will believe that there must be some underlying reason for your self-confidence.

Smile and make eye contact with every person you speak with. But don’t stare. Flirt a little. Even if you are passing by a stranger and happen to make eye contact – do you smile at them? or say hi?

Compliment each person you talk to and find out something interesting about them. It’s not ALL ABOUT YOU! It’s about THEM. Ask questions. People are most interested in themselves. Everyone has something intriguing about them – you just may have to dig a little to find it.

Work the room – if you are at an event or party, Circulate! Don’t get trapped with the same people all evening. Break away within ten-fifteen minutes of meeting someone and move on. You can always come back. If someone drones on and on, excuse yourself immediately and walk away.

Exchange cards with people. You know how many times I go out and give someone my card, and they say they didn’t bring any with them!  ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CARDS! And if you don’t use a business card, have a personal card made. VISTA PRINT offers basically free business cards! Create a fun and conversational card. I hate seeing people write down their name and phone numbers on a cocktail napkin! – And make a habit to follow up with people afterwards. Amazingly, 67% of people do not follow up in business.

Introduce people you meet to each other. I know so many people who never do this. This gives you the appearance of being popular and helps you to remember names and faces.  –  When I meet a stranger who might be new in town and know no one, if they hang out with us for a day they will met at least 10 new people.

Invest  a couple hours each week, to your own individual personal and professional development. Never stop learning or designing your life! Stretch your comfort zone and take risks. You only go through this life once – maximize it! Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary?!

Turbo Tagger


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