Everyone knows that small talk can be awkward and uncomfortable at the best of times. I know you have all wished you could just run away and hide. But here are some tips that will make the whole conversation a little more bearable in situations that everyone has been in or will be in at some point in your life.
Avoiding the networking nightmares
Networking is important in trying to land your dream job, so be prepared to do a lot of small talk, that could lead on to big things. Meeting new people and potential employers can be a daunting task but here are some topics that will make you sound like a ‘networking professional’.
Instead of making endless chitchat go in with a criteria in mind and what questions you want to be answered. Some good research before hand can help you track down the employers you are trying to impress. Initially you could start with talking about the location and why you are there to get the conversation following. Remember to listen to what the other people are saying but don’t be afraid to speak your own opinions too! The key to a successful networking event is to be confident even if you are a nervous wreck inside.
Dreaded office small talk…
Working in an office requires a lot of small talk as everyone wants to avoid the awkward silence when delving into the office treats in the staff room. Or god forbid getting into the empty lift with someone who sits two desks away who you rarely speak to. The obvious ice breaker is asking about their day, and from their response you can gage their mood before starting a new topic. Talking about yourself is always a save bet but always make sure you ask them too, you don’t want to come across as a self centered person who can only talk about themselves. You could also find a common ground which you must have because you work in the same place!
Good general conversation!
Remember having to have those embarrassing ice breakers every time you joined a new class? And hated every single one and your teacher for making you do them? But they have educated you in many topics to avoid everyday life awkwardness and small talk. People joke about small talk being about the weather but it is always a good start as us Brits love to moan about the constant rain or rave about the rare sunny spell! Also a conversation about where they are from is good, especially if they have an accent. Or even just asking about there day or if they have any plans at the weekend are good starters too.