This is the fourth in a series of 5 blog posts on “Your Toolkit For Small Talk”. These posts are about the way to get the most out of a seated small talk situation. You may find the first post here, the second post here and the third post here. Today, it is about Making the first step.
So there you are. You have arrived at the table… where everyone is sitting in sheer silence.
The problem usually roots in that, some people arrive and just sit down without saying a word. They don’t know how to handle the situation.
The problem with this is that neither do they know any names, nor the others know theirs, hence, it will be harder for everyone to engage in a conversation.
It’s just like when all of you sit around a tray of beautifully organized grid of chocolate bits. Everyone is waiting for someone else to break the pattern of the elegance of the organization. But to eventually consume all that chocolate, someone does have to start.
So why wouldn’t that someone be you?
Here I give you the simple solution to handle such a situation:
Before sitting down, you make sure to introduce yourself to everyone around the table. Don’t wait for others to make the first step. No. You go up to them, tell them your name and shake their hands.
If you have enough time before the program would start, even have a couple of words with them, before you go to the next person. This breaks the ice. After you went around and sat down, it will be easier to talk to you, because the barrier is torn down by telling them your name.
There’s a wall to tear down
When arriving at a place with multiple people, you instantly start to build up an imaginary wall. A wall of silence. The longer you don’t speak, the thicker this wall gets. Sure, there is no actual point where it would be impossible to demolish this wall. But if you want to make your job easy, don’t wait too long. Tear down that wall, before you would realize it is being developed. Use the 3-second rule.
What is the result?
When you arrive at a table, where 7 people are sitting in silence and you start your introduction, you will be amazed by the result. By the time you finish going around, people will conversate with each other and loosen up.
Usually, they make the mistake of not starting to talk instantly when they arrive at a new place. So by the time you arrive at the group everyone would be sitting with their thick imaginary walls around them.
With your introduction, you will be the one to help them through the first step.
This way, everyone will have a chance to loosen up and hence start to get into enjoyable conversations with each other.
One last blog post is to follow, so stay tuned.
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