You're good at legal speak, but what about small talk? 10 small talk no-nos

Posted on 11-14-2014 by
Tags: networking , Upgrading Your Skills

Small talk, a seemingly small task, but a task many find themselves filled with anxiety over. According to an article by WiseBread, they listed 10 things masters of small talk don’t do:

1. They Don't Assume They Are Alone in Their Anxiety
It’s highly unlikely that everyone in the room knows each other. Chances are there are other people there who are as anxious as you are about social situations.

2. They Never Forget to Introduce Themselves
Never assume friends will introduce you to others. This could be because they forgot your name or how they know you. Find the right opening (without butting into conversations) and introduce yourself to others.

3. They Never Forget to Introduce Someone Else
When introducing people include a thing or two about them, maybe what they do or how you know one another.

4. They Never Have Bad Body Language
Make sure you have a good posture. Don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. Finally –smile.

5. They Never Discuss Religion
Religion is never a “safe” topic as it can easily offend someone. It’s best to avoid discussing that topic.

6. They Almost Never Discuss Politics
Like religion, politics are another topic that isn’t “safe” as it could get heated quickly and create a disagreement or argument.

7. They Never Forget How to Use Openers
They are really good at asking questions based of information you gathered from a previous question such as: "So when you went to Portland, did you go to Jake's Seafood?" What will help is if the person you’re talking with asks questions as well. This will keep the talk going.

8. They Don't Forget to Expand the Circle
They always make room for anyone who seems to be wanting to join the conversation. Make eye contact and introduce yourself. After introduction, give them an idea of what was being talked about before resuming the conversation.

9. They Don't Go Into Small Talk Unprepared
Have some topics ready. If you’re from out of town read the local paper to get an idea of what’s been going on. Out-of-towners can also ask for restaurant recommendations or local activities to do.

10. They Don't Make a Poor Exit
The way to approach this varies on the size of the group. If in a smaller group maybe try:

"Hey, I am going to go get a fresh cocktail."

If you’re alone with one other person you can try:

"John, it has been great talking to you and I enjoyed meeting you. I hope we can stay in touch."

To the rest of the LexTalk community, how do you handle small talk? Do you have anything else to add?


Rachel Poritz
Rachel Poritz
Posted on : 17 Nov 2014 3:25 PM

this is interesting.  good pointers.

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