Brace Yourself – Conference Season is COMING.

Weather it's SiGMA, AWA, or LAC, one way or another, you will find yourself at a conference one of these months. And when you do, we want you to be, in the words of French Montana, UNFORGATABLE

Though you might have your business card, and your well-prepared sales pitch, but there are another couple thousands, just as equally prepared, competing for the same attention.

Scientifically speaking, if you want others to remember you – you NEED to get their dopamine pumping! This is the neurotransmitter released whenever we feel good, and if you're able to active peoples' pleasure center, you won't turn out to be just another business card they've collected.

How you ask? It's actually pretty easy. STOP BEING BORING! Dopamine is easily released with the right interactions, so instead of reading out of a familiar social script - activate your conversation partner's brains with some stimulating and intriguing topics. This way your conference leads will remember how great it feels to be in a conversation with you, and would DEFINITELY want to feel that way again.

To give you an idea:

BLAH questions that nobody cares about their answers

 

BALLSY conversation starters

What do you do?

Have you met anyone really interesting here? // What do you think of the crowd? [this can double benefit you cause you'll get to know of this interesting person if you've missed them before]

 

Where are you from?

What was the best part of your day and what was the worst part of your day? [Make them think through their answer!]

 

How are you doing?  [Has anyone EVER answered a full honest answer to this?!]

Can I confess? I've read this article on conversation tips and they had some ABSURD ideas… What do you think is a good way to get a conversation going?

 

With that being said, if you want to go the extra mile of being memorable, as Dale Carnegie said, "to be interesting, you have to be interested".

Research show that we talk about ourselves 60% of the time, at any given interaction. You know how much you like you! The most brain activation happens when we talk about us; it actually makes us feel as if we're being rewarded! So by being interested in others, you become interesting yourself in their eyes. And of course you are – you're literally rewarding their brains!

Putting this concept into action, get people talk about themselves by asking open-ended questions. No more 'What' and 'When' questions, but rather 'How' and 'Why'. 'How' and 'Why' will get the conversation dig dipper, just don't forget to genuinely listen to the answer.

What's even more important is to make sure you don't subtract by criticizing, complaining, disagreeing or gossip… Make other people feel important and their opinions valued! Instead of subtracting, use "Yes, and -". That way the conversation remains open and flowing. You can always disagree, but frame it in a positive way that aims to find common ground in the conversation (*"no, but-").

Last, and maybe most important trick to learn before you get on the next plane to Network-Land, is the importance of storytelling. 

Our brain is designed to love and to activate when it hears stories. We immediately feel as if we're there WITH the story. In a storytelling way, we can not only engage our listeners, but we can also get them to think on our same wavelength! This means that if you know how to use stories right, people will easily connect to you, and needless to say at this point, will most definitely remember you better.

So how to use this in your favor? By creating your own story toolbox.

A well prepared Story Toolbox will allow you to use stories that you already know and enjoy telling, AND follow them up with challenging questions to your listeners. They key is not to force these stories into an unrelated conversation, but to naturally and casually bring them up. Build your toolbox around topics that frequently comes up in daily conversation, but that also have a thought-provoking questions at the end that can pass the ball to the listener (get them talking about themselves, pump up their dopamine etc. etc.).

Everybody enjoys a good story, and would want to join your own private campfire-talk!

If you're at a conference, you're most likely hanging out with people from your own little niche – these are all people who speak your language! Use it to your advantage; tell them funny/fascinating/jaw-dropping incidents from your own experience and get them talking about theirs. Share your knowledge on an interesting article you've read on the subject. Tell about your weirdest event or your most unforgettable conference. Anything can be a story if told right. 

Now that you've mastered the art of being unforgettable, and you're ready to KILL the next conference, we give you a chance to test all that you've learned at the next upcoming event:

Write us an email telling your favorite conference-related story, and you might win an entrance ticket to the SiGMA expo at MFCC, Malta, 28-30 November.

See you there!