Avoid starting sentences with tentative language such as I think, I believe, I hope, and stay away from filler words like um, well, and so. It’s much more effective to state something as fact. It will make you sound more confident and send a message that you know what you’re talking about.
Do not stare expressionless when listening to someone speak. Instead, nod in agreement or show facial expressions as appropriate. Paraphrasing or asking a question related to what they just said shows that you were listening and care about what they have to say.
Going from This to That
When networking, the ability to steer the conversation from any topic to the message you want to get across is an important skill. For example, when talking about something as mundane as the traffic, you should try to move the conversation to your profession as naturally as possible. Saying something about being a software engineer and your preference for remote work because you don’t like driving during rush hour is an honest and casual way bring up your current job search.