Learn Small Talk – Part #2
This is Part #2 of “8 Tips for Making a Great Impression” Read Part #1
Learn small talk
Small talk may sound insignificant, but small talk artisans can make a friend anywhere they go. Used as a tool for initial communication, small talk isn’t limited to the weather, rather it’s the method we use to find commonality.
Questions Make Great Small Talk
One of the best ways to learn about another person and help them feel as though you are interested in them is to ask questions and listen carefully to their responses.
It may help you to prepare questions beforehand for the person you are meeting. Or, take a few minutes to learn something about the person you are going to meet before you meet. For instance, Does he play golf? Does she work with a local charitable foundation? Google offers a wealth of information! Is there anything that you know of that you have in common with the person you are meeting? If so, this can be a great way to open the conversation and to keep it flowing.
When you are at a networking meeting, take initiative and introduce yourself, don’t wait for others to start a conversation with you. It will demonstrate your confidence and give you control to guide the conversation. Besides confident people are a magnet for others.
Introduce yourself and follow with an easy-to answer question about something in your immediate surroundings. Use “open-ended” questions that will encourage the other person to talk. How do you know our host? Are you a member of this group?
Ask people a lot of questions about themselves, such as questions about their background, their family, any friends you have in common, or what he may like to do. Most likely you will find something that you have in common which will give an opportunity to bond.
Ask open-ended questions, they evoke detailed responses and encourage the other person to talk. What do you think of (this location, the latest news headline etc) ? What is your opinion of…? Could you explain how… ?
And be sure to listen to the responses to your questions. Their responses will give you the opportunity to ask even more in-depth questions. You mentioned that you spent time in Europe! Do you have relatives or friends there?
Here are 10 more stimulating topics for small talk:
1) Each others day. How’s been your day so far?
2) Sports. Do you enjoy or play sports? What your kids are playing at school?
3) Music. What types? Who do you like? What songs do you like or remember from your past? Did you hear _____latest release?
4) Movies, TV. Have you seen a movie lately that you would recommend to watch?
5) Career. How long you’ve been working there? What is the most exciting in what you do?
6) Holidays, Traveling. Have you traveled this summer? Where did you go? What plans do I have for this weekend or over the next holiday?
7) Hobbies, Interests. What do you like to do in your spare time? What do you do on weekends?
8) Upcoming Plans. What you are going to do for Thanksgiving?
9) Current events in the country and around the world. Did you catch the news today? What do you think about building that bike lane at Hornby?
10) Trends in art, fashion and social life. It looks like that pointed shoes are back in fashion.
to be continued…