I used to avoid networking events.
As an introvert, I found small talk intimidating and anxiety-producing.
So I convinced myself that I didn’t need to participate. But the reality is, sometimes they are important.
You might meet your future employer or your next big customer at your next event.
Here are the strategies that have made me more confident at small talk.
1️⃣Use the power of questions. The great benefit of asking questions is that it takes the focus off you. A good question can keep the other person talking for a few minutes.
* A few decent questions on your part will also leave the other person thinking you’re a brilliant conversationalist. Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no.
2️⃣Find someone that wants to talk. At any social gathering there are people that are looking for a conversation partner. Look around and find someone that obviously wants to talk.
3️⃣Steer the conversation to something interesting. Work, the weather, and the price of milk might be fine for a few minutes, but everyone gets bored with this type of talk. Most people love to be part of an interesting conversation.
*A great topic to discuss is something that you’ve recently learned.
4️⃣Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself from a conversation. Some conversations just don’t work out for a variety of reasons. Avoid taking it personally and move on to someone new. See how many new people you can speak to.
* You can make your escape by saying something as simple as, “I need to find something to drink. I feel dehydrated. It was nice to speak with you.”
5️⃣Smile. You appear more inviting and less intimidating when you smile. You’ll feel more confident, too. There’s no reason to grin constantly, but smile easily.
⭐The best way to master any new skill is to practice. Use this information and work on your small talk skills. Just remember that not everyone will be interested in talking to you. Don’t take it personally. Keep trying until you find a willing conversation partner.
It won’t take long.
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