Reframe the task. You’re just working on building rapport. Find something you have in common and start with that. For example, at a Marine For Life Network luncheon, perhaps start a conversation with the Veteran Marines you’re next to about their MOS, where they were stationed last, what they’ve been up to since they separated, or what industry they want to break into. Be yourself. Present your best, most professional self, but don’t try to be somebody you’re not.