A Classy Way to Interrupt a Conversation

By Joanne Blake | Etiquette & Manners

Sep 04

How to Connect at a Networking Event

Tips so you don’t get left out in the cold

I received a disappointing note from a new acquaintance that had attended the same networking event that I did last week.  She wrote me this email afterwards “I glimpsed you several times at the Edmonton mixer last week, but you were always engaged in conversation so I didn’t have a chance to speak to you.  Hopefully I’ll see you at the next one.”

There’s never a perfect time

Unfortunately this happens a lot.  If you wait for the perfect opportunity to speak with a person when they are alone or unoccupied, it may never happen.  At our “Complete Professional Seminars”, our business etiquette advice is to be pro-active in reaching out to others. Business etiquette no-no How not to interrupt

Make your own opportunity

If someone you want to connect with is in conversation with someone else, you will need to catch their attention. Our tip is to stand close by where they can see you without actually interrupting the flow of the conversation.  When there is a pause in the conversation, they will more than likely acknowledge you and draw you into the conversation.

Reach out and touch someone

If you are in their field of vision and they still don’t see you, then you may want to touch them on the elbow to get their attention.  Once you do that, you can briefly say ‘Excuse me, I didn’t want to interrupt but I’d love to catch up when you have a moment (and let them know where you’ll be).

A good networker = a good host

Then the ball is in their court. They can simply say “Great, I’ll see you later over at the…”. Or if they’ve taken one of our business etiquette classes, they’ll put on their good host hat and draw you into the conversation by making introductions and recapping what they were talking about.

Bonus tip

If they introduce and include you in this way, don’t monopolize the conversation. That wouldn’t be classy.

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Posted by Joanne Blake – the Corporate Image Consultant and classy business etiquette wise networker

About the Author

JOANNE BLAKE Canadian speaker, corporate image consultant & business etiquette expert. If you're interested in booking a presentation, keynote or coaching, contact me. Based in Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.