Everyone wants to be a great conversationalist, whether you're networking or just catching up with friends. Share your stories in the present tense to make them (and yourself!) more engaging and interesting. Image from francisco_osorio.
Once you set the scene, tell your story in present tense to draw others in and give them a better idea of what happened. You may also find the present tense makes you more descriptive. Kat Boogard, writing at The Muse, gives an example:
Which one of these sounds more compelling: "A few years ago, I was walking on my college campus…" or "It's my sophomore year in college, and I'm walking from my afternoon class back to my dorm room…?"
Of course, you don't want to give so many small details that you go on for too long, but added detail from present tense brings your story to life. Training yourself to switch tenses as a default when you start sharing a story can take some time to make a habit, but over time it will make your stories more interesting and engaging.