Breaking the ice at a meeting with LinkedIn

When you have a meeting with people you’ve never met before, those first couple of minutes when everyone is getting settled in can be extremely awkward. You want to be friendly and potentially build your network by engaging the people who are new to you, but gripping questions like “So, how’s the weather where you’re from?” or “How long have you been with Black Sun? Do you like that company?” don’t exactly spark interesting conversation.

But, if you and I were in a meeting and you asked me, “Did you ever go to that nude beach near UCSD?” that would get my attention. How might you find out more detailed information about someone that you can use to establish a relationship BEFORE you meet them?

This is yet another magic of LinkedIn. Check out my LinkedIn profile as an example. If you dig into my full profile, you can discover that I went to school in La Jolla for 5 years, been issued a patent, and worked a lot with Struts and ASP.NET. You can come up with a lot more interesting questions based on that information than the normal pre-meeting chit-chat (although you have to have knowledge of nude beach locations to ask the example question) and by extension be more memorable.

That’s not to say you can get away with being a total moron in the meeting itself, but if you shine there too the combination of the two can make a bigger impression.

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10 Responses to “Breaking the ice at a meeting with LinkedIn”

  1. Donna Brazile and contentious meeting tactics | Nerd Guru Says:

    […] front on an unrelated topic so you can begin with some positive feelings. This is where I’ve used LinkedIn to find conversation starters, for example. If you can get in a self-deprecating joke (I like to refer to my baldness), which […]

  2. Productivity in Context » Blog Archive » Linked In and Productivity Says:

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  3. David Hughes Says:

    Great tip for an ice breaker.

    David Hughes

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    […] You can use LinkedIn to fill out a business trip, meet fellow travelers in your network, help you break the ice at a meeting or research a prospective client so you can communicate with them more effectively. Every one of […]

  7. 7 Ways to Have Character (and Show It) on LinkedIn | IdealFusion Consulting Says:

    […] You can use LinkedIn to fill out a business trip, meet fellow travelers in your network, help you break the ice at a meeting or research a prospective client so you can communicate with them more effectively. Every one of […]

  8. Doing it Differently Blog Carnival, 10th Edition : Today Is That Day Says:

    […] Over at Nerd Guru, the post Breaking the ice at a meeting with LinkedIn discusses putting all of that technology to good use – find out about someone before you actually […]

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