Small Talk Techniques: Networking Skills

 In Communication

Use Small Talk Techniques to Improve Your Networking Skills

What is Small Talk

Talk is informal, light-hearted conversation. This is often used to talk to people you don’t know well, or at social and networking events.

Talking small is important. It is like a doorway to the conversation. It’s as easy as knocking on the door and waiting for the reply. Then you can see if they will invite you in. It doesn’t matter who you are interacting with, whether it be friends, colleagues, or even your office, small talk should always be casual and lighthearted. It’s usually a short conversation between you, someone you don’t know well. It is common to encounter it at social events or during networking.

How to make small talk

Ask open-ended questions first. People enjoy talking about themselves. It’s not just that we are our favorite subjects but also because it’s easier to talk about yourself than about something you don’t know much about. Asking open-ended questions creates a lively conversation that encourages the other person to share their thoughts.

Second, practice active listening. While it’s tempting to just shut down sometimes, you will build stronger relationships if you pay more attention. You will be noticed by the other person how engaged and interested you are. It’s easier to ask pertinent questions and recall details later if you don’t listen with one ear.

Third, turn off your phone. When we feel awkward or uncomfortable in social situations, our tendency is to reach for our phones. However, nothing will make it more difficult to have a conversation. If you scroll through your phone, few people will approach you. You’ll also send a clear message to everyone you’re talking to about not being interested.

Fourth, be enthusiastic. Talking small can be stressful. You can have fun if you approach it with the right attitude. These conversations can be seen as an opportunity to learn about others. It’s impossible to predict who you’ll meet and what they’ll share with you. So, enjoy the possibility of an incredible conversation.

Use Small Talk Techniques to Improve Your Networking Skills

1. As if you’re talking to an old friend

The best advice in the thread is the idea of approaching small talk like you are talking to a friend. It’s as easy as changing your perception.

2. Show genuine interest

You must let go of any preconceptions that small talk is pointless if you want to improve your communication skills. Each conversation with a stranger in your life is a unique opportunity. You might even make friends. You might even learn from them. The history of business is filled with great partnerships and long-lasting relationships that began with small talk phrases.

You have a great chance to learn and grow every time you talk to someone you don’t know. Instead of starting a conversation with anxiety, approach it with excitement. Take an interest in learning from the person you are talking to. Talking to someone you like is more than just small talk.

3. Never discuss something personal.

You don’t know much about the person you are talking to when you start a conversation. Gretchen Rubin, author, speaker and blogger, suggests that you choose topics that are common to both of your speakers.

4. Keep your conversation partner in the center of your attention

Encourage people to talk about themselves. Finding something other than the weather to talk about is one of the most difficult aspects of small talk. Pro networkers know that people love to talk about themselves. You can take that information and run with it.

5. Connect with others and offer compliments

Share information that is related to their conversation, especially if there’s a commonality. Conversations are a two-way process, so make sure to connect with what you hear. If all else fails compliments are universally appreciated.

6. Keep up to date with current events

Keep up-to-date with current news and events, and people will believe your intelligence has increased by twofold. This is something you should be doing. You can make small talk more interesting by having an educated opinion. Don’t just think of an inflammatory thought to get attention. Keep your focus on the things you are passionate about and your knowledge and passion will shine through.

7. Get out there and do as much as you can

Do it. You will improve your skills the more you practice it. Although this is not the advice you expected, it’s the truth. The more you practice small talk, the better you will get at it.

8. Keep calm and carry on

Relax. The majority of people aren’t out to get you. Talk about common topics like sports, movies and music. You’re bound to find something that you can discuss.

We can all agree that small talk isn’t important, so let’s not make it big deal. Relax, and remember that you are the only one who is aware or worrying about all the mistakes you make in conversations.

Last Thoughts

Remember that you will feel more at ease if you have conversations with people you don’t know. Practice in unfamiliar surroundings to overcome your fear of small-talk. Ask your friends to invite you to networking events in another industry. These tips will help you make the most of networking, no matter how much you enjoy small talk or avoid it. These principles will help you make small talk with your boss, or someone you meet at reception. Learn more with a short course on networking either internally or externally.

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