I remember a strategy I used when starting out. I gave myself permission to approach only five people at an event (make it three people to start out with if it feels more comfortable for you). I usually went over to people who were alone and/or were standing off to the side who were thrilled to have someone approach her/him. I asked questions about them personally.
My coach discussed the F-O-R-M acronym for starting new conversations and relationships…
M = message
You begin the conversation with a complement. If the person is of the opposite sex, talk about your spouse or acquaintance within this complement so they don’t think you are just trying to pick them up. An example, my husband would love your suit. Where did you buy it?
Then move on to the other areas (of F-O-R-M) where you ask a lot of questions and pay close attention. People enjoy speaking about themselves usually. You will gather some information you might find useful should you go forward in business. The Message part of this acronym is not where you jump into your business. Ask about what they do. When they ask about you, give a 3-5 minute powerful elevator speech. Then ask for their business card followed by setting up a time to speak more in depth. Do not do it then.
Have you ever tried this technique or one similar to it? Let me know about your successes and challenges below please. I will respond.