There’s an art to making small talk, and if you can do it well, you can come off as the most engage, outgoing, and confident guy in the room. We’ve all been to a party or client event where we find ourselves face-to-face with someone we’ve never met before and felt that awkward moment when you know both of you are at a loss over what to say. Mastering the “Five F’s” can get you through it smelling like a rose.
- FROM –Asking where they’re from gives them a chance to brag on their hometown.
- FUN –There are things we all enjoy. Hit them with questions about hobbies, weekend plans, pizza, or whatever else comes up.
- FIRED UP –Through a conversation, if you’re paying attention, you can discover a person’s “hot button” issue. Assuming it’s not something that’ll start an uncomfortable argument, throwing out pieces to get them talking about what they enjoy will make it easy on you.
- FUTURE PLANS –What are you working on? What are your plans? Do you have anything big coming up? All of these are nice jumping off points.
- FOLLOW UP –Once you’ve got a read on what they’re about, throw out some follow-up questions to keep things going until it’s time to move on to the next chat fest.
Get this stuff down, and you just might find yourself with a new friend, client, or work associate…and you’ll never again be the awkward guy that feels out of place struggling for conversation.