The Art of Small Talk
Start the year off right by getting back into tiptop conversation shape. With a new set of cocktails and parties that are soon to fill your calendars, it is best to prepare yourselves for the ever-dreaded small talk.
Most of us cringe at the thought of chit-chatting about futile topics and fake laughing with strangers or acquaintances, but… most of us also cannot escape these encounters. Thus, we best make the most out of it and enhance the experience in every way possible.
Here are 12 tips to help you talk your way through any crowd.
1. Remember people’s names…. especially if you have met them on different occasions. As tricky as this can be, try to do your best! You will come across as thoughtful, caring and more genuine.
2. Greetings – if you are unsure how to greet someone start with a handshake. If you have made someone beso before, continue to do so in the future.
3. Prepare by reading about current events. People who are aloof about world news, seem very silly and out of touch.
4. Be a good listener: listen more than you talk.
5. Provide some interesting details about yourself but do not over-share. No one wants to learn everything about you in one sitting.
6. Be interested in the other person by asking about them... but do not get too personal.
7. Comment on your surroundings and the event.
8. Talk about things that you like. Talk about things you have done recently.
9. Keep it light. When just meeting someone, you should avoid talking about controversial, upsetting or heavy topics.
10. Have an opinion of your own. Nothing is more dull than speaking with someone who has nothing to say.
11. Body language says a lot. Eye contact is important and making sure you are not closing yourself off or turning away from the person/s you are speaking with.
12. Make a clean exit. Drop a clear hint that the conversation is winding down.