Drop any notion you might have that every networking delegate you meet is listening properly to what you have to say! Some aren’t. They could be nervous, thinking about what they’re going to say next or maybe they’re just not a very good listener!
So how can we change this? With some people we simply can’t. They are there to highlight what they do, not listen to you. And unfortunately in some cases we just encounter people who much prefer the sound of their own voice to listening! They’ll never see networking conversations as two-way.
But the above cases are a minority! And sometimes we can turn up the listening level in others – here’s how to do it. For a start, keep your answers short (attention spans are short!); try to be interesting, e.g. a good story/example always beats a long list of services, company history or spouting the party line; and show you’re listening too! If you really listen to what the other person says, ask questions about their answers and let them talk, then they’ll be more likely to listen properly to you too.
And always remember that networking event conversations are just that – conversations at a networking event. They’re not one-on-one meetings and anyone can join the conversation at any time. If 1-1 is what you want to do, make sure you make contact with the other person shortly after the event to arrange a coffee meeting.