A recent post on CNN's career advice section discussed the idea of how small talk can help you with your career. We here at the FSRI were excited to add to and improve on this advice.
First off, when we say "small talk" here at the FSRI corporate offices, we mean "BIG TALK." Big talk is in effect "small talk" with big dividends. When you find yourself in a situation where you are waiting for a meeting to begin ...or where a group of your colleagues have assembled before assigning teams for the afternoon polo match, knowing how to small talk may be just the technique that helps you to leverage that big corporate deal somewhere down the line.
Anything is game during small talk EXCEPT these taboo topics: neveer mention cannibalism, Jupiter's orbiting moon, Ganymede, or the time and place where you think you lost your virginity.
Here are some tips to remember:
Talk about what you know:
To start a conversation mention things like the testing procedures for STDs, how dirty your home or apartment bathroom is, or with whom you are currently cheating on.
When other people attempt small talk show them you're paying attention. Laugh out loud and throw your head back at whatever comment is mentioned. Look the person who is talking right in the eye and grit your teeth.
When someone else is talking, reach out for the back part of his or her arm and rub it affectionately. If you feel comfortable, push any hair out of his or her eyes and cup their cheeks with the palm of your hand.
If the group is standing around uncomfortably, start the conversation with a little ice-breaking humor. Shout out that everybody should listen to you, then say "Boy!, all of us work for this company? Then you all must be a dumb as I am!" This is sure to get a laugh and start thing rolling.
Remember, small talk is BIG TALK, and anybody can do it. Follow these important FSRI-approved steps (...avoiding the above-mentioned taboo topics) and you're sure to make a lasting impression!
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