November 27, 2023

The Art Of Networking

I recently attended a lovely networking event during which a new entrepreneur group called Genuine Women was launched. Despite its name, most of the group's events are taking place in French and welcome both male and female entrepreneurs. They are a fascinating bunch of passionnate travailleurs indépendants!

The Art of Networking is no easy feat. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that getting back to basics is more conducive to creating an interesting conversation and a real, genuine connection.

Do you know how to introduce yourself appropriately and how to ask the right questions to get the conversation flowing?

Here are 5 Great Tips to Better Network In French

1. Introduce Yourself

Your coat is in the cloakroom, your business cards are in your bag, your glass of wine is in your hand: start mingling and schmingling! Don't be afraid to join a small group of people or to start a conversation with someone who is also looking for a discussion partner.

  • Bonjour, je m'appelle Isabelle. Et vous? (Hi, my name is Isabelle. And you?)
  • Bonsoir, je suis Patrick.  Et vous êtes...? (Good evening, I'm Patrick. And you are...?)
  • Vous êtes bien Madame Nicolas? Oui, c'est moi. (Are you Ms. Nicolas? Yes, I am.)
  • Enchanté(e)! (Nice to meet you!)
  • Je suis ravi(e) de faire votre connaissance! (I'm delighted to make your aquaintance!)

2. Ice Breakers: Choosing The Right Questions

You did it! You introduced yourself in French: well done! How about getting to know your networking partner a bit better? Ask him/her open questions to keep the conversation going.

  • Vous connaissez l'organisteur / l'organisatrice de la soirée? (Do you know the organiser of the event?)
  • Comment avec-vous entendu parler de cet événement? (How did you hear about this event?)
  • C'est la première fois que vous venez ici? (Is it the first time you come here?)
  • Ça fait longtemps que vous habitez à Genève? (Have you been living in Geneva for a long time?)
  • Où habitiez-vous avant de déménager à Paris? (Where did you live before moving to Paris?)
  • Est-ce que vous vous plaisez à Montreux? (Do you like living in Montreux?)
  • D'où êtes-vous originaire? (Where are you from originally?)
  • Est-ce que Nyon est très différente de votre ville natale? (Is Nyon very different from your hometown?)

3. Back To Business

Now that you know your networking partner a bit better, it is a good time for you to inquire about her/his line of work.

  • Vous travaillez dans quel domaine / secteur? (In what field do your work?)
  • Je travaille dans les ventes / le marketing / l'événementiel / les finances / la technologie / l'éducation. (I work in sales / marketing / event planning / finance / IT / education.)
  • Je travaille pour l'ONU / chez Proctor & Gamble. (I work for the UN / at P&G.)
  • Je suis présentement en recherche d'emploi / en reconversion professionnelle. (I'm currently looking for a new job / doing a professional reconversion.)
  • Je suis à la recherche de nouveaux défis. (I'm looking for new opportunities.)
  • Je suis maman / papa à temps plein. (I am a full time mom / dad.)

4. Go With The Flow

So, you've been discussing with the same person for over 5 minutes. You got to know him/her a bit better, but there is no personal or professional chemistry. That is fine! If pursuing an interesting conversation or showing a genuine interest isn't possible, excuse yourself politely and start schmoozing somewhere else!

  • Vraiment? C'est très intéressant! (Really? That's so interesting!)
  • C'est  / c'était un plaisir de discuter avec vous. (It is / was nice chatting with you.)
  • Vous voudrez bien m'excuser, je vais aller me chercher un autre verre. (If you'll please excuse me, I will get myself another drink.)
  • Excusez-moi, mais je dois partir. (I'm so sorry, but I have to leave.)
  • J'aimerais vous présenter quelqu'un qui pourrait vous intéresser.  Vous avez une carte de visite? (I would like to introduce you to someone who might interest you. Do you have a business card?)
  • Vous êtes sur Facebook / LinkedIn? (Are you on FB / LinkedIn?)
  • Voici mes coordonnées. (Here are my contact details.)
  • Je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès avec vos projets. (I wish you every success with your projects.)
  • Au plaisir de vous revoir prochainement! (I look forward to seeing you again soon!)
  • À la prochaine! (See you around!)

5. Apéro Prêt à Parler

Are you eager to put into practice what you have learned in your French classes, but don't feel ready or comfortable enough to do it in a French only environment? 

Click here to register and join me at our next Apéro Prêt à Parler! 

Let's start the holiday season on the right foot by celebrating Les fêtes de fin d'année 2023 in the friendly, relaxed and cosy atmosphere of Elite Conduite, our new teaching location in Nyon.

Come meet two dynamic mompreneurs of La Côte Region and connect with our sympas French learners around a nice glass of wine and some festive nibbles!

Au programme de la soirée

  • Apprendre à briser la glace en français: Come mingle and schmingle in a relaxed atmosphere where Isabelle's little games will help you break the ice with other learners.
  • De Super Prix à remporter: Make sure to wear something shiny for a chance to win one of our prizes!
  • Plus on est de fous, plus on rit: Spending an evening in French might be a bit daunting at first, so don't forget to bring your favorite learning companion!

During this event, you will:

  • Talk about your life in Geneva.
  • Learn new vocabulary, expressions, and pronunciation tips in a friendly atmosphere.
  • Receive helpful input to boost your confidence and improve your French conversation.

Be ready to:

  • Introduce yourself in French
  • Talk about your everyday life in Geneva (schedule, work, hobbies)
  • Ask questions to the other participants
  • Share the bon plans (cafés, restaurants, activities) of your neighbourhood!
  • Dare! Don't be afraid to make mistakes: it's the best way to learn!

Apéro Prêt à Parler is all about speaking French while having fun.

Will you dare to join us?


As a native Québécoise, born to a Franco-Belgian family, now living in Nyon with her two children, Isabelle is no stranger to the expat reality! Trained as a professional opera singer, her passion for arts and languages led her to become an ambassador of the French language & francophone culture, i.e. a French Teacher!

She founded Prêt à Parler in January 2015. Since then she's been hard at work helping native and non-native English-speaking expats make French part of their everyday life! Prêt à Parler's mission is based on what Isabelle does best: helping busy professionals and parents improve their French language skills by providing a high quality, eco-friendly, fun, no-nonsense approach to learning French online!

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