Let's first examine the basics behind Speed Dating. First and foremost, it is a Social Event just like any other Social Event you would attend for one reason or another. Keep that in mind and go at with a Social etiquette not, "I am looking for a partner" approach, unless that is how you approach Social Events to begin with. If that is the case, we should probably talk!
So, you will usually find yourself in a conference room of some type with either men or women on the "inside circle", depending on the organizer preference, as the static group with the opposite sex moving around. The standard rule-of-thumb is a ten minute session that you will ask questions and decide if you want further contact.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well a lot of people freak out about it so here are several tips for making it go more smoothly for you.
First, The 10 minutes are for introductory exchanges and to see if you have a chemistry only. There is no personal information, outside maybe first names, that will be given here. This is the time you want to ascertain if you have some "common ground" to invite further communication.
Second, Never use this 10 minutes to degrade an ex-lover in any way. Never come off as a victim of love because invariably, no matter how much you will want to have another meeting with someone of interest, doubtful that person will return your advances. No one likes to hear how you talk about someone else because they will immediately think that if things were not to work out, they would become the next one trashed. Sorry, it is just the way of the human condition.
Third, Don't brag about yourself in such a way that the other person thinks you are "High maintenance." Keep it light and conversational, but DON"T become a CSI interrogator either. No one wants to feel like they are being grilled. Let the conversation take its course; Don't fight so hard to get your questions answered.
Fourth. Your image matters. Take pride in who you are and dress and present yourself in such a manner that you seem to display a sense of style. If you have to spruce up your style a bit, then do so and, as the old saying goes, "Dress for Success."
After the 10 minutes, you will have a pretty good idea of who deserves a further look and then you will let the organizers know who you are interested in. Hopefully, you will end up with a couple of people that you will find fascinating and seek an official date.
Remember to keep this very lighthearted and look at it as a way to learn more about communication with the opposite sex. It may be just the ticket to pull you out of a slump in your relationship life.