Are you a natural conversationalist? Do you have the ability to talk to anyone at anytime? Mastering the art of small talk is an invaluable skill that can help you grow your network and get ahead in life.
Whether you’re at a business function, networking event, family reunion, or the neighborhood bar, being able to strike up an interesting conversation with the people around you is an important thing to be able to do. There’s something nice about good old fashioned chit chat. It puts people at ease while building a conversational relationship.
Entire books have been written about mastering the art of small talk. Below you’ll find a few key points that will take your small talk skills to a whole new level:
- Brainstorm A Top Topics List – Before you ever need to talk to anyone, think of a list of topics that most people like to talk about. This is your go-to list of things to chat about.
- Dial In Your Conversation Starters – Often the hardest part of the conversation is getting started. With a few icebreakers in your pocket, you’ll be one step closer to having a conversation.
- Nail The First Impression – As always, look the part. Your first impression matters and will set the tone for an entire conversation.
- Start With An Introduction – It’s best to start at the beginning. Nail the handshake and introduce yourself.
- Remember People’s Names – People appreciate it when you remember their name. Use their name in the conversation. It adds a personal element to the discussion.
- Show Genuine Curiosity – Curiosity is one of the best ways to keep a conversation flowing. Be genuinely interested in the conversation.
- Be Able To Talk About Something – If you don’t have anything to talk about, you’re going to stumble. Do interesting things so that you can add value to the conversation.
- Find Common Ground – Be knowledgeable about a variety of topics. This way you can find mutually interesting things to discuss.
- Ask Questions – Questions are the secret ingredient of any conversation. Ask lots of questions to ensure that the other person stays talkative.
- Listen Carefully – Don’t dominate the conversation. Know when to listen and when to pay attention to what the other person is saying.
- Have A Backup Plan – If the small talk isn’t going well, you’ll need a backup plan or escape route.
- Duplicate And Repeat – Watch how other people master the art of small talk and do what they do. Find a formula that works for you and stick to it.
Making small talk is one of those things that we all have to learn how to do. It may push your comfort zone, but the more you practice the better you will become. Once you dial in your small talk system, you might even find that you actually enjoy small talk.
Mastering the art of small talk is a fantastic way to meet new people, grow your network, and open up future opportunities. Perfect this skill and it will take you far in life.