7 Simple Tips for Mastering Small Talk in Any Situation
Knowing how to indulge in small talk is an important skill. Not only does it let you introduce yourself in a room full of strangers very confidently but also helps foster meaningful relationships with others. It also helps break the ice and can be used to open up conversations about deeper topics. Furthermore, small talk can be used to find common ground with others that can be very conducive to students and career-oriented individuals building their networks.
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Be Genuinely Interested
When you exhibit genuine interest in the person speaking before you, they will find you more appealing and prefer to gravitate toward you. The key is to be interested for others to find you interesting.
It’s a turn-off when you’re speaking with someone and they don’t seem to be interested in what you’re saying. Thus, by actively listening, asking insightful questions, and absorbing their responses not only are you building a connection but also making a great impression.
Ask For Their Opinion
Let us be honest. When we are asked for our opinion, we feel special and acknowledged. This is a human trait. We like to talk about ourselves and we like when we can impart our knowledge and experience to others. Therefore, when you are speaking to someone, make them feel respected and valued by asking for their opinions on relevant subjects which will even help you in your journey.
It can be quite intimidating when you are out there on your own, surrounded by strangers, and having to while away the evening only relying on small talk.
However, make the most of it. You never know who you would come across. Don’t be the one who sulks in a corner or even worse, says negative things in a group. Keep the mood light and fun and stick to having constructive conversations.
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Keeping It Short and Sweet
The whole purpose of small talk is to have a friendly yet short conversation with anyone which leaves a long-lasting impression on them. The best approach is to have basic pointers ready to get the conversation started and not let a dull moment pass by. However, it was rightly pointed out that “genius is knowing when to stop.”
If you feel that there is nothing else to add to the conversation and to avoid things from becoming awkward, gracefully excuse yourself and part ways.
Body Language is Key
Not every conversation you have is the product of verbal dialogues. Your body language is a critical medium of communication. Be very cautious of your posture when someone is talking to you. Make sure you maintain eye contact which is a sign of attention, that being said, don’t let your eyes wander around. Small things like being firm with your handshake, not fidgeting with anything in the middle of the conversation, smiling, etc. are of huge help.
Don’t Hog The Conversation
The simple rule here is that you allow the person to talk. Even though a conversation is a two-way thing, you will be more remembered when you direct the conversation in a way where the person before you feels that he has contributed more to the conversation. Hence, be a good listener more than anything.
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Stick To Neutral Topics
It is difficult to figure out what opinions people hold these days or what can offend or be sensitive to the other person. We can however avoid certain faux pas. We are not here to push our views on others. So be reasonable and stay on the safer topics of conversations which eventually leads you to a better understanding of what should be said and what shouldn’t.
It is good to stay in touch with these tips since the more “adult” we become, the more we’ll have to cope with small talk, so being prepared pays off. To summarize, mastering the art of small talk is an essential aspect of making connections. By following these tips and actively working on your conversational skills, you’ll be a small talk expert before you know it. So be confident and be prepared!