How to Be a Person of Interest

Sign Up For Weekly Tips! Get Trevor’s Weekly Tips Straight To Your Inbox!

Does this sound familiar?  You’re in a casual work setting holding a drink, (conference, trade show, networking reception) and engage in conversation with someone you don’t know.  About 45 seconds in, you notice their eyes wandering, looking for someone more interesting to talk to.  They make their excuses, wander away, and you’re left feeling invisible.

To get somewhere, you need to get noticed.

Here are a few ways to become a person of interest to others:

  1. Be able to say what you do succinctly, in about 5 seconds.  The 30 second ‘elevator pitch’ is dead.  In an age when ‘forever’ means 60 seconds, you’re better off making it succinct.  Instead, give your 5 second blurb, and see if it provokes interest.  If so, pursue a deeper conversation.  If not, move on. Mine varies depending on the situation, but usually it’s something like: “I help companies in fast growth solve their people problems.”  If they want to know more, they can ask.  If not, they’re not my prospect anyway.
  2. Read stuff.  Be aware of current regional, national and international events.  Read magazines and newspapers of record (I like the Wall Street Journal and the National Post).  Read fiction.  Read history.  Read current business books.  All of these things help you carry your end of the conversation.
  3. Travel.  Places are interesting, and sharing memories of places visited is a sure way to find common ground.
  4. Get personal.  Don’t be afraid to talk about non-work things that are interesting to you.  Rehashing industry gossip gets boring real fast.
  5. Ask great questions.  This is the ultimate trump card to being thought of as a great conversationalist.  I’ve learned about everything from the cultivation of Bonsai trees to the wide world of raising ostriches.  People’s interests are interesting to me.Many times I’ve sat in groups and revealed nothing of myself, but simply asked multiple questions of others.  People love to talk about themselves and things that interest them.  If you give them the chance to do so, they’ll leave with great memories of what a great conversationalist you were.  Being listened to with genuine interest is a rare experience for most people.  Give them this gift and they’ll appreciate it.
  6. Pursue interests yourself.  Have something to talk about other than work.  Be able to talk about your car hobby or your teacup collection or your passion for watches or the course you’re taking in woodworking.  One guy I met travels around the world taking a picture of his foot in front of the headstones of famous people, now departed.  Interesting.

The way to be interesting is to be interested.   Get curious.

Try one of these next time, (especially #5) and you will get great results.

Recommended Resources:

Uncover your strengths and weaknesses with our complimentary assessment. Boost your effectiveness at work and with your team.

Free Resource Library: Access our extensive collection of valuable resources for instant support in your personal and professional growth.

Explore Our Course Library:

Enhance your leadership skills with our diverse selection of courses. Take your abilities to the next level and become a more effective leader and team player.
Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


Our Clients Love the Professional Leadership Institute

Your team will, too! Check out some reviews from our students.
The PLI program was invaluable to our network.
The range of topics delivered, the open dialogue, experience, and examples that PLI brought to each session were outstanding and provided a path for our Franchisees and Managers to look at leadership, coaching, and connecting with their teams in a new light. Many have implemented these strategies in their bakeries and have seen immediate results.
Michelle C.
COBS Bread
Highly recommend to help your team move forward
We have locations around BC and Alberta, so getting people on the same page can be very difficult... Until now. Our entire management team and location managers take the same great courses and then meet monthly online with our coach to apply it to our situation. People are engaged, the courses are excellent, we love our coach, and we are all learning together!
Jason Fawcett
President, Kelson Group
The result has been a transformation of our culture. 
We decided to implement PLI's strategies across the country in over 150 locations and over 3500 employees.  The result has been a transformation of our culture.  People's lives have been positively impacted - professionally and personally.  Morale is high and sales and profits are up as a result.
Daryl Verbeek
Daryl Verbeek
We’ve learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all
The roadmap laid out set our business up to quintuple in sales.  We've learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all, attract top talent, and spend our time focused on results, not internal staffing problems.  I highly recommend PLI to you - it's worked for us!
John DeJong
Satisfied Client
I had no idea that running a business could be this fun!
In less than 18 months of working with Trevor, he has transformed my business from being average to exceptional, where mediocrity is not acceptable, where being great is standard.  Working with PLI has allowed me to realize my dream of not simply owning a job, but owning a business.
Justin Bontkes
Principal, Caliber Projects
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year with Trevor’s help.  He is funny, relatable, and his tools are very very practical and have helped us focus and upgrade our teams throughout our retail network. Trevor recently spoke to an employee group, and one person remarked, “I could listen to Trevor all day.”   We would highly recommend Trevor.
Stan Pridham
Founder, KMS Tools
The results have been remarkable
At first, we resisted, “This just won’t work with a law firm.” But we persisted and the results have been remarkable: our client base and profits have steadily improved, and staff engagement and morale is the healthiest its ever been.
Doug Lester
Partner, RDM Lawyers
Helped our fast-growing business become what it is today
I've experienced PLI's approach first hand and it's been crucial to sustaining our growth.  I can't imagine a business that wouldn't benefit greatly from his help.
Brian Antenbring
Founder, TEEMA
Provided practical ways to make positive changes
Trevor was incredibly well-received by the entire organization. He was able to articulate people issues that many of our franchisees were experiencing and provided them with practical ways to make positive changes. We have implemented the Star Chart tool across the organization and see it as vital to building happy, effective teams.
Aaron Gillespie
President, COBS Bread
Scroll to Top

Start Learning Today

For Individuals

Unlock your potential and accelerate your career with sought-after management and leadership skills.


Transform Your Organization

For Teams

Book a consultation to discuss your challenges and discover how we can help you build a winning team.


Sign Up For Weekly Tips!

Get Weekly Coaching Tips Straight To Your Inbox Every Monday.