In this digital age, it’s so easy to send an email, or even a quick text, to communicate directly with peers, clients, bosses – pretty much everyone! Have we lost the art of small talk in preference for the easy way out behind the screen? While digital communication can certainly be faster, and easier for some, the art of face-to-face interaction remains extremely important. Check out a recent article featured on Fast Company about “How to Become a Better Conversationalist”, by Lisa Evans, with 5 easy tips to get your small talk game on point.
If you’ve got an event coming up, try incorporating Evans’ suggestions for better communication:
1) Change Your Mind-Set Going In – Rather than think negatively about having to make small talk, or attend the event, approach it as a way to learn and be curious about people.
2) Listen with Intent – Remember that communicating isn’t always about talking. Active listeners stay in the moment and give their full attention during a conversation.
3) Ask Open-Ended Questions – Instead of asking a “yes” or “no” question, ask questions that will keep the conversation alive and find common ground. But don’t be too invasive!
4) Avoid Oversharing About Yourself – Similar to Tip #2, share some information about yourself, but let the other person speak more.
5) Check in with Yourself – Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Keep the conversation like a game of ping pong, or tennis – the dialogue ball should keep moving back and forth.
So, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, seasoned networking pro or small talk rookie, try working these ideas into your next event for a conversational win.