Small talk is a given part of any conversation, even if it’s only a matter of initiating an interaction. You won’t be able to network effectively without the ability to engage in the light chit-chat that paves the way to in-depth discussion. We at AIP would like to help you overcome the awkwardness of small talk and build stronger relationships as a result. Here’s how:
- Pose Open-Ended Questions: Narrowly focused inquiries that invite only affirmative or negative responses won’t open the doors to any meaningful conversation. Open-ended questions, on the other hand, will get others talking about their opinions and experiences.
- Find Common Ground: At AIP, we can attest that small talk comes smoothly when it covers a topic in which all involved parties share interest. This way, everyone can contribute. Whether you discuss the event at hand, the industry in which you share expertise, or the speaker you all just heard, focus on something to which everyone can relate.
- Avoid Overdoing It: It’s important to practice your pitch as well as some icebreakers, because you don’t want to fumble over your words when they matter most. It’s also important that you don’t over-rehearse, however. Doing so may cause you to sound robotic, or worse – inauthentic.
You no longer need to cringe at the possibility of small talk. Use these AIP tips to build rapport with others and open the doors to lasting relationships.