Summary: The art of small talk allows you to converse with others and build a strong network of genuine relationships.
Being able to small talk is a skill needed by everyone serious about being successful in their career and life. You need to be able to do more than just survive some casual chit-chat.
- Use their name to help you remember them
There are a lot of us that struggle with remembering names. Did you know that the more you repeat a name, the easier it is to remember it later? When you are able to repeat their name even just once in a conversation, they will know you have been listening.
- Give more than one-word answers
When someone asks you a question, if it isn’t a very good question, help them out and give a good answer. Just responding with a one-word answer like “yes” won’t get the conversation anywhere. Unless for some reason you really don’t want to talk to this person, then keep up the cold one-word answers, otherwise open up.
- Ask your own questions
We all like to talk about ourselves at some point or another. Ask a basic question to start things going by building off the previous question that interests you. Don’t try to ask questions about things you could care less about, your lack of interest will show through.
- Be friendly and smile
Keep the conversation light-hearted and fun. Don’t try to dive into deep politics unless that directly relates your industry. By having a smile on your face, people will want to talk to you and feel comfortable doing so.
- Know when the conversation is done
Once the conversation becomes strained, move on. Casually and kindly find a way to end the conversation before it gets to awkward.
Just as in developing others skills, practice makes perfection. The more you are able to engage in small talk, the less forced and unnatural it will feel. Plus your network will grow even faster.
Photo: business-spotlight.deHow to Get Good at Small Talk by Amanda Griffin