What to do when your mind goes blank and your speaking panic draws ever closer.
Here are a few tips for getting creative with your chit-chat.
Ask open questions where people are unable to simply say yeah or nay. That way they have to do some of the talking.
Make a comment about the room, the course, the town/city, the weather (if desperate), the food. Keep your comments positive. Nobody likes to be with a moaner.
Do your homework. If you think you might get stuck for words, take a look at the news beforehand and have a “Did you know….” comment or two up your sleeve.
Pick up a conversational thread. If someone mentions tennis, try to think of a reply other than “I don’t like tennis.’ Better to say something like “Well, I don’t play myself but my father does and travels all over the place to see top matches. He was in Paris last month.
Once you get going, you need to let others have their say, so don’t hog the conversation – that’s almost as bad as saying nothing.
Do you have any creative chit-chat strategies you could share??
If so, drop me a note a firstname.lastname@example.org