Learn the value of feedback cues– using positive body language, making eye contact, nodding, smiling, laughing, even frowning, etc to demonstrate that you are engaged during a social interaction.
These techniques benefit both you and others. How? Let’s use the example of a Compass module (15 freshmen Fellows are being spoken to by a prominent social entrepreneur or business owner).
Them: the speaker benefits because they can see that their ideas are being received (ie they are not talking to a wall).
You: it is highly likely that you will be picked out of the crowd by the speaker because they see that you are an active listener. This can provide an easy opening to initiate a conversation with said speaker after the event.
In addition to providing benefits for both parties, it’s simply a good social practice!