Behind every loving relationship and business partnership is a small successful talk. Unfortunately, for some of us this might not come naturally. A social talk can even be associated with faking oneself and putting a different mask on. However, this is not exactly what a small social talk is about. Rather, the key lies in connecting with new people by communication. The good thing about this is that you can make yourself become better in it by practicing. The more I have put myself out there, the better I became in grasping the essentials for a successful small talk and become better in doing it. I have listed them below. Let’s get started!
Tune up your mind
It is good to have a little mental preparation upfront. Try especially to remind yourself of the important purpose that a small talk has before entering the crowded room. Which is to help you build the ground for genuine conversations and profound relationships. This way, you prevent yourself from dwelling on negative thoughts and discouraging self-talk. For example: ‘I am so bad at this’ and ‘It is so pointless of putting myself through this’.
The first impression is very important, as it is will leave a lasting footprint in people’s minds. So dress according to the explicit communicated or tacit dress code. Be polite, make eye-contact and get ready to interact with your genuine interest. Make sure you give a firm handshake that you have been practicing at home to everyone you meet. What should also not be missed, is the upfront research on the attendants and run-down of the occasion. On top, try to prepare an personal introduction in which your shortly describes yourself, for example about your professional background and passion for your specialisation. The trick is also to incorporate a humoristic statement by creating a turning point to the conversation. For example, you can make people curious by sketching a remarkable or fun situation about your job to invite people to ask further.
Break the ice with simple questions
It is totally fine to begin the conversation with introductory questions about for example, the weather and the social occasion itself. It is namely not so much about the content but about the message telling others that you are willing to make a conversation. Once you set the scene the rest of the conversation will follow. Also, always keep your business cards on hand because you never know who you get to speak to, even in a seemingly casual social situation.
Put your curiosity mode on
Showing interest will help you go a long way. Hold an active attitude by actively asking questions and frequent eye-contact. Posing questions not only let your express interest in the conversation but it is also a great way to take the nerves from you away by switching the attention to the other.
Ask open-ended questions
To elaborate on the previous point, it is best to ask open-ended questions. This way, it will give your conversational partner the opportunity to deepen more on the subject and let the conversation flow naturally to other related topics. Do avoid questions on which people can only answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. These kind of yes/no questions will provide no depth in the conversation rendering it to end relatively soon. During the process, remember to show genuine curiosity which is nurtured by your inner will to learn and listen.
What kind of tips do you use to start your own successful talk? I am curious to know about them.
Until next time!