The Fine Art of Small Talk: How To Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills -- and Leave a Positive Impression!
The author sets out to help people with the way they can initiate and exit a conversation. This is extremely useful for those annoying industry events when you have to meet new people. Here are some of my favorite tips:
You must initiate the conversation. Get over your shyness. Introducing yourself is appreciated.
Avoid banal questions: Not, What do you do? Get more personal….how did you get started or join this company? Frame questions that show a real interest in the answer.
Don’t ask a child “how was school today” , ask about specific emotional responses to events.
Pay attention to body language.
If at a loss for a topic , the author suggests remembering FORM (Family/Occupation/Recreation and Miscellaneous). I personally recommend the Vacation question. (What have you done about vacation? .. it always works. )
Follow up on any next steps.
Please feel free to comment on any of these recommendations and suggest other sources that might be helpful.