We’ve all been through this! We receive an invite and we dread going because we don’t know what to expect. We’re not sure who we’ll see and thus we start getting palpitations at the mere thought of standing alone at some social function. The art or should I say the science of making small talk can seem quite daunting. But if we practice the tips below, trust me you’ll become a pro at making small talk anytime anywhere and with absolutely anyone!
1 || Ditch The Phone
Though the constant beeping of a phone is a huge temptation but nothing undermines the quality of a conversation like the sight of a phone… yours or others for that matter!
2 || Don’t Be Tempted To Impress
We all fall prey to this one, especially upon meeting new people. Don’t be tempted to impress others with stories of extraordinary feats, instead aim to find a common ground. Find a topic that everyone can easily relate to.
3 || Stay On The Lookout
Stay on the lookout for interesting comments that you can build upon and explore. For example, you discover that you have a common friend with someone, explore that and branch out.
4 || “Would You Rather” Questions
The quickest way to get stuck in a conversation is to ask questions that end with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Instead ask open-ended questions that are somewhat ‘self-revealing’. “Would you rather” questions are perfect as long as they don’t feel forced. ”Would you rather have studied this instead of that?” for example! Or you can take it up a notch by asking hypothetical questions such as “would you rather be taken seriously or be considered the fun one?”.
5 || Offer A Genuine Compliment And Move On
Everyone loves a compliment, just make sure it’s genuine. Say it and move on to another question.
6 || Connect Others
If you’re the common person in a group, aim to find the common ground between the others and comment on it. “Did you know that Suha’s also a graphic designer?”
7 || Listen More
This sounds easy but it isn’t. The trick to being more interested in people is to listen more than you talk! You’ve done your homework and came up with interesting topics or questions, now sit back and listen.
8 || Resist Acting As A Sidekick
Though it’s always safer to stay in the shadows of someone you know, but resist doing that. There’s no growth there. Step out of your comfort zone and be ready to meet others.
9 || People Love To Talk About Themselves
And remember people just love to talk about themselves. So take your cue from there.
10 || Have A Few Handy Questions Ready
If you’re going to an event and you expect some awkward moments, just have a few go-to questions ready…”what’s keeping you busy these days?”, or “what brings you here today?”.
11 || Train Yourself
Get into the habit of making small conversation, it’s definitely a muscle you can train. Say hello to the person next to you on the plane, talk to your waiter, ask your nail technician about her day.