Tag: conversational lead

Do You Struggle to Make Elevator Talk? A Menu of Options for Small Talk

Small talk can be a big problem.

You want to be friendly and polite, but just can’t think of a thing to say.

Comment on a topic common to both of you at the moment

Venue, the food, the occasion, the weather.
“How do you know our host?”
“What brings you to this event?”

But keep it on the positive side! Unless you can be hilariously funny, the first time you come in contact with a person isn’t a good time to complain.

Comment on a topic of general interest

A friend scans Google News right before he goes anywhere where he needs to make small talk, so he bring up some interesting news item.

Ask a question that people can answer as they please

My favorite question is: “What’s keeping you busy these days?”
It’s useful because it allows people to choose their focus (work, volunteer, family, or a hobby).
Also, it’s helpful if you ought to remember what the person does for a living, but can’t remember.

Ask open questions that can’t be answered with a single word…

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