I was at lunch with a colleague yesterday and he was saying how much he hates small talk. He was expressing that it was painful because he doesn’t know what to say and it feels shallow and contrived. This wasn’t the first time I’ve had this conversation. It isn’t just business people that feel this way you might be feeling this way in any social setting.
I want to share with you some incredible resources that are sure to help you through the painful prospects of small talk and turn what would otherwise be a frustrating situation to a relaxing and productive encounter. These are 5 Tips to Connect In Business but could be used in any social setting!
Lets begin with Leil Lowndes book How to Talk to Anyone – 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships. This is an incredible book and I highly recommend it as a read or even better to listen to it on tape. Leil is fun and captivating to listen to.
Tip # 1: Parroting ~ Never be left speechless again. Like a parrot, simply repeat the last few words your conversation partner says. That puts the ball right back in his or her court, and then all you need to do is listen.
Tip # 2: Never the Naked Introduction~ When introdcuing people, don’t throw out an unbaited hook and stand there grinning like a big clam, leaving the newlymets to flutter their fins and fish for a topic. Bait the conversational hook to get them in the swim of things. Then they are free to stay or float on to the next networking opportunity.
Tip # 3: Whoozat ~ Whoozat is the most effective, least used meeting-people device ever contrived. Simply ask the party giver or host to make the introduction or pump for a few facts that you can immediately turn in to icebreakers.
As you can see Leil’s sense of humor comes through loud and clear! Her book is fun to read and filled with wonderful tips that will move you forward in your ability to connect.
Another incredible resource is Nicholas Boothman and his book How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less.
Tip #4: Body Language Open or Closed? If you want to show that you’re open for business, a friend and not a foe, without saying a word, you have to open yourself up to the world in the first seconds of every encounter. Open body language includes uncrossed arms and legs, ease in facing the person, good eye contact, smiling, standing or sitting erect, leaning forward, flexible shoulders, and a generally relaxed aura. Open body language provides a welcoming and inviting presence. You will be making strong connections before you can cross your arms!
Tip #5 Dress for Success ~Do looks really matter? The answer is YES! Image has a very real impact on your career, and like it or not, wardrobe plays a big part in those crucial first ninety seconds when your scrambling to make a connection. Dress for the job you want not the job you have!
These are 5 Tips to Connect in Business that will go a long way. They are simple and easy to implement but will make the world of difference in your first impression and the comfort level of the people you are connecting with! Try them out and let me know how they work for you!