Integrity Staffing Solutions
best of staffing 2020 client rgb
Tags

What to Do When You’re Out of Ideas for Small Talk

There you are at a professional networking event, chatting with new contacts and (hopefully) making a fantastic impression. Suddenly, silence falls. And you can’t think of a thing to say. Awkward!

 

It’s bad enough if this happens when you’re among friends, but it’s a thousand times worse when you’re with people who could have a positive or negative effect on your career. So let’s make sure it never does happen to you.

 

Here are our top 3 successful talking points that will keep the conversation going; and make yourself look good in the process.

 

The News

Ask people’s opinion of the latest news story, movie/TV show/viral video, or local sports team’s performance. If you don’t know what’s going on, take a few minutes ahead of time to read a newspaper, visit a news website and check out what’s trending on Reddit and Digg.

 

Stay away, however, from anything intense or personal like politics, religion and health problems. You never know what someone will find offensive, so don’t even go there. Try something like:

“I’ve been reading mixed reviews of the Apple Watch. Are you getting one?”

“Did you catch the Phillies game last night? How do you like their playoff chances?”

“What movie do you think should win the Oscar this year?”

 

The Location

There’s always something to say about the space you’re sharing with your conversation partners. Even if your comment isn’t true, it will get the ball rolling. For example:

 

“This is a beautiful building. Has it been here a long time?”

“These shrimp are delicious. Have you tried them?”

“I ran into terrible traffic getting here. Did you have a hard time, too?”

 

The Other Person

The old saying that to be a good conversationalist you must be a good listener is absolutely true; people love to be invited to talk about themselves. It also means less conversational work for you. But it won’t work if you ask “dead end” questions that can be answered yes or no. Instead, word your comments so that the answers will then lead to further discussion.

 

For networking events, it’s more productive to focus on subjects that will help build your professional relationship with that person. You might ask:

“How did you get interested in your ______ [field/job/company]?”

“Have you always worked in this field, or have you done other things?”

“What did you think of the ______ [presentation/speaker]?”

“What ______ [blogs/discussion groups/websites] in our field do you like best?”

 

Keep these 3 ideas in the back of your mind as you go into the event, and you’ll always be ready to get the conversation flowing again when it dries up. Plus, you’ll get points for your quick thinking and social skills. That might be just what it takes for the person you’re trying to impress to remember your name!

Tags

You might be interested in...

8.04.20
How Do I Choose the Right Job for Me?
Whether you're just starting out in life, looking to make a career change or (lucky you!) trying to decide between multiple job offers, you may find the possibilities overwhelming. How do you figure out which job will best fit your skills, passion and personality? What if you aren't fully qualified for the job you want?   Here are some methods that may help you identify — and land — your perfect job.   Describe Your Ideal Job and Employer This is about more than your work duties. Write down a complete profile of the role and the corporate culture that will best fulfill your dreams.   Think about what you liked or didn't like about past jobs. What types of activities do you like best — group/team efforts or working by yourself; a structured routine or planning your own workflow; a hands-off boss or one that keeps an eye on everything; high pressure deadlines or a relaxed pace; tons of overtime or work-life balance? What duties did you most enjoy that you would like...
Read More
7.29.20
How Recruiting Will Change in Light of COVID-19
  If you’ve been on the internet in the past week, month, day, or half-hour, you’ve most likely seen some version of the headline, “How COVID-19 Will Permanently Alter [Insert Industry Here].”   And for a good reason. The pandemic has shined a light on the lack of a business continuity plan in many industries — including recruiting. The process of building teams is quickly evolving for countless companies, and this change is especially daunting for organizations that lack a flexible staffing strategy.   Whether trying to find temp workersor something a bit more permanent, recruiting and staffing won’t be the same once the pandemic subsides. What will it look like then?   1. It’ll be from a distance. Social distancing won’t just be a solution for decluttering restaurants and bars. Recruiting from a distance — and with the help of virtual technology — will be essential to any business continuity plan.   Much of the recruiting cycle (e.g., sourcing, interviewing, etc.)...
Read More
7.26.20
The New Post-Pandemic Company Culture
Many businesses haven't operated "normally" — if at all — for months. As we step out of lockdown and back into the workplace, what will be our new reality? What changes will be permanent? How can we smooth the transition for companies and workers alike?   Safety Practices The most visible changes will be to the physical space. New barriers, equipment, workflows and cleaning protocols will confront the returning worker. Businesses must keep up to date on the latest health and safety recommendations to help employees feel comfortable about being in the workplace.   Phasing In Employees may also have to get used to not seeing the usual crew. In order to limit the number of employees present at the same time, many companies are bringing workers back gradually, with the most essential (or those who volunteered) returning first.   Alternatively, some businesses are establishing staggered work times, or a weekly in/out rotation where some teams are in the office while other...
Read More
General

Title

More Info
You need an account to do that Set up an account Never Mind

Please register for an account first. If you already have one, log in here.