It’s coming up to wedding season again and for many, a time of dread. Having avoided business networking events all year you are now compelled to attend the equivalent, for fun!
I’ve written before about effortless small talk and taking the pressure off yourself by asking open questions of the other guests so that they talk about themselves. For most of us, talking about what we love and enjoy makes us very happy.
So today I thought I would write about having a “thing”!
My top tip to networkers, party goers and wedding guests is …
… to wear something that others can comment on!
A piece of jewellery or hat for the ladies; maybe a charity pin for the gents (or if you can carry it off) a vibrant waistcoat. Anything that someone else can say “ooh I love your xxxx“ or “that’s an interesting xxxx, where’s it from?”, to strike up a conversation with you.
But that is only half the tip … you must also have something to say about the “thing”.
When someone tells you they like your “thing” don’t just say thank you … add some context.
Tell them where you got it, who gave it to you, what it means to you, why you support the charity … it doesn’t matter, so long as it helps to develop the conversation.
Imagine you are standing next to someone and the conversation stops. You feel a little foolish and start to look around. You realise that they have a really pretty brooch on and so you say … “what a beautiful brooch”!
And they say “Thank you! It was a gift from my eldest son when he returned from travelling. I think he said it is from Malaysia”.
Now all of a sudden there is a myriad of things you can talk about from there.
- Where did he travel to? How long has he been back? How long did he go for?
- What is the brooch made of? Was it made by a craftsman there? How long was he carrying it before he got back?
- How many sons/children does she have? Have they all gone travelling? Does she love to travel too?
To be honest the list is endless.
I have a silver necklace that I wear for just these occasions and it has led to conversations as diverse as the price of silver, charity events and looking after ageing parents! All topics that other people took from the story I tell about where I got it.
Try it and then let me know how you get on!
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