A lot of people struggle with small talk.
Here are some examples of things I've heard from people I coached this year:
"I don't know what to say to senior executives... what comes out is either too business-y or just awkward and they look like they want to escape."
"I quickly run out of things to say at a networking event."
This happens to most of us. Including me. But here are some thoughts:
Remember that the goal is to build a human connection and start a new relationship.
Try to do more listening and less talking. A great way to do this is to ask great questions.
People tend to like talking about things that interest them... and by extension they tend to like people that talk about those subjects.
It really helps to be prepared. Have a list of questions you can ask nearly anyone.
What kind of questions? Ones that can't be answered with a yes or no. Ones that are unexpected and require some thought. Ones that don't put someone on the spot.
- If you had a magic wand, what three things would you fix about _____? - What two things are on your bucket list for 2018? - What's your craziest travel story? - What crazy title would accurately describe your day-to-day activities?
I'd love to hear your 'best questions' for networking!