Small Talk 101

Good advice for the texting generation. And for introverts. From

11 Smart Phrases to Use at Networking Events
Unless you're naturally gregarious, meeting new people is a challenge--and a networking event, which is all about meeting new people--can be downright grueling. You want to sound intelligent but you don't know what to say, and you dread the thought of a long awkward silence or a statement that falls flat. 
But if you can get people started talking about themselves, you're off to the races--and they come away thinking you're an excellent conversationalist. 
Here are 11 smart things to say at your next networking event: 
  1. "What's your name?
A polite introduction is important, and you do best by keeping it simple. Walk up, hold out your hand, and introduce yourself.
  1. "What do you do?"
Remember, people enjoy talking to people who are interested in them, and they enjoy talking about themselves. When you ask a question, don't let your attention wander. Stay focused and curious, because you're most interesting when you're interested.
  1. "I can't believe we both . . . "
If possible, try to find some common ground, an interest or professional affiliation you share. (This may be easier at a conference based on your profession or geographic setting than at a more general event.)


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