The wedding season is in full throw and for some the trauma of having to chat to complete strangers is palpable. We’ve all been there – the wedding of a work friend, friend from a different time or a partner’s friend. Whatever the reason, you only know a couple of people and one or two of those are busy getting married! So you are at a table of strangers wondering what to say and wishing you could go home.
It doesn’t have to be hard.
Firstly stop worrying about what you are going to say … think of your job as finding out about the people you are with. The more they talk, the more interesting they will think you are!
Use open questions that can’t be answered with a Yes or No as they are more likely to lead to a conversation – those are the ones that start with Who, What, When, Why, How and Where.
Have some standard ones up your sleeve to start with and then LISTEN to the answer so you can respond appropriately. Obvious ones would be “How do you know the happy couple?” “Where have you travelled from today?” “What do you like to do when not attending weddings?” “What did you think of the ceremony/dress?”
It doesn’t have to be all about the wedding itself, you can ask them What they do for a living, Where they live, Where they have been on holiday, What Sports they enjoy playing/watching … if you don’t know anything about the sport then ask them what they enjoy about it!
The trick to making small talk it to be curious and not to worry about telling them about you … the opportunity may well come up but you will have more fun if you concentrate on finding out about others. To make it sound less like an interrogation try to comment on their response. For example:
“How do you know the happy couple?”
“Oh I used to go to school with the Bride”
“So you must have lots of stories to tell from before I knew her! Where were you at school?
“Hillbrow Primary and then onto Secondary school”
“Gosh you must be one of the people who have known her the longest here? Tell me more!”
Now you are going to find out lots or history and you are in a conversation!
Some people find small talk hard but by concentrating on others, asking open questions and listening to what’s said to you it will become easier each time you try!
Small Talk skills that are relevant at weddings are going to help you at work too! Whether it’s networking, chatting in the breaks at meetings or approaching the general public in your tour or shop. If you or your team don’t do enough of this then give me a call to see if our approach can help you.
Don’t enjoy networking? Have a look at our Networking Made Simple programme
Your shortcut to:
- Create a networking strategy for you and your business
- Walk into a room without showing your nerves
- Network confidently and effectively
- Build a network of supporters, advocates and clients
… so that you can develop business effortlessly and easily.