If the thought of making small talk with someone is a bit daunting at times, do not fear as you are not the only one! You should not feel nervous by the idea of exchanging a few words with somebody shopping at the market, or sitting next to somebody for a while on the bus. If you’re out mingling with friends or strangers, follow these 5 tips and become the queen of small-talk in no time.
Take an interest in what the other person says because people like being heard. Focus all your attention on them, and follow up with appropriate questions. Simply nodding can send the wrong message.
Ask engaging questions
Don’t limit your conversation to everyday topics. Try and avoid those questions you can respond to with simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers. The conversation will not flow naturally if these questions are asked, so choose questions that make the other person think deeply.
The expressions on your face are an important part of having great conversations. Even a story about what you found while cleaning the house can be entertaining if your face creates its own show too. Smile! Sound and look excited, and you will be far more entertaining to talk to.
Take the first step
Think of small talk as a dance where two people meet for the first time and have to get to know each other in movement. There is power to making the first move in a dance. Sometimes it pays to be the first to share your personal thoughts and feelings, it makes you more relatable, and in turn, helps the other person open up too.
Believe that you are worthy of being talked to. Be confident that you have some interesting life experiences to share with someone. Without fear of judgment, you will be relaxed, open and expressive, all the traits of a great networker.
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