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The Art of Small Talk & Networking

Categories: Personal Marketing

Starting a conversation at a business networking event, conference or even before a team meeting begins isn’t easy for many people – particularly for those who are more introverted.

Coming prepared with topics and conversation starters is always a good idea. Possible good topics for small talk include:

  • Weather
  • Traffic
  • Current Events
  • Travel
  • Hobbies
  • Sports
  • Cultural Events
  • Movies
  • Children
  • Food/Dining
  • Work

Here are five possible conversation starters:

  1. What brings you to this event?
  2. Is this is the first time you have attended (name of event)?
  3. How do you know (name)?
  4. Have you belonged to (the trade organization) for a while?
  5. (If you met before) What’s been happening with you/your business since we last met?

Topics to avoid discussing include:

  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Controversial issues
  • Cost of items
  • Personal misfortunes
  • Gossip
  • Jokes/stories of questionable taste
  • Your health/others’ health
  • Bad mouthing the competition
  • Social issues

Overall, the goal is to be interested in other people. It’s amazing how interesting you become when you do show interest in others!

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