You never know when a tight corner will come. Better to learn to smalltalk before you need it.
My tight corner
A couple of days ago I was standing in front of 70 annoyed people.
I promised them a slideshow of pictures that were taken earlier the day.
It was in the evening at a wedding, where I was the Master of Ceremony.
There was a problem, though: While I was standing on the dancefloor in the middle of the attention, the photographer came up to me and whispered: “Atis, the HDMI cable keeps disconnecting. We need more time.”
By this time I’ve already asked the guests to sit down and the music was on hold. I simply couldn’t make them come back on the dancefloor and dance for about 5 more minutes and then sit back down. You just cannot turn up the mood and switch it off that instantly.
I had to buy some time.
My years of speech practice came in handy
Here is what I said: “As I watch all these good men working together to get that slideshow running, there is a story from another wedding that comes to my mind…”
At first, I thought they will see it as a cheap distraction from the crisis we were in. But then I went deeper into the story about that other wedding:
“… then he took off his suit and tie and submerged into the dirty, fast moving, swirly river Danube in the middle of the city. Only to get the yacht going, while a hundred other guests were unknowingly cheering for the young couple above his head at the civil ceremony…”
The result? – Amazing
By this point in my speech, all the guests were sitting at the edge of their seat, jaws dropped and eyes wide open. They fully engaged with my story.
This gave us enough time to make the final decision about whether the HDMI cable problem could be solved or not.
Sure the guests figured out that I was just trying to buy some time for the organizing team. But at the same time, they were grateful that I provided some entertainment.
Without the belief, that I have a story that I can tell in an interesting manner, without the confidence or the practice, I would have never been able to remain in command and make the guests feel that they are taken care of.
Learn how to Smalltalk
You can learn this skill.
Are you afraid of what happens if you forget your speech? Or afraid of not knowing what to say when you sit next to a stranger during a dinner? Here is your solution: Learn the skill of Smalltalk.
Learn how to understand the need of your audience, how to come up with the right story and how to fascinate them.
Learn to Smalltalk
Not everyone is a natural born talker. Still the skill of casual smalltalk can be learned.
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