“Small Talk” is an art. Like any art, you can improve how you do it through practice. Here are some ideas for becoming more proficient at small talk.
THINK … On the way to the next event or when you have some idle time, work through in your mind how you envision your “small talk” going. Review the questions you will ask in your mind. See yourself listening, summarizing, and sharing.
LISTEN … “Small talk” is all around you, everyday. Listen to it, especially those who are good at it. See how they weave from one question to the next and how they transition to business, return to small talk and then exit the conversation.
ENGAGE … Take every opportunity to engage in “small talk” When you are in line at the store check out. With a server in a restaurant. With the receptionist at your next appointment. You will find the more you engage in small talk, the more comfortable you get at it.
The most important thing you need to do in being good at “small talk” is develop an attitude or belief.
Periodically, you need to tell yourself, “I can carry a conversation. I can. I am good at it. I enjoy it. I like how it lifts the spirits of others. And I love what it is doing for my networking. I can carry a conversation.”