Small talk is awkward and often boring, but networking is an essential skill. Fast Company suggests a few conversation starters and strategies for making new connections.
We've offered tips on turning small talk into a conversation before, including learning to ask relevant questions. Here are some of the questions Fast Company recommends you arm yourself with before any function when you're going to meet new people:
"What's keeping you busy when you're not at events like this or at work?" This question gives the encouragement necessary for the person to share his/her passions and outside interests. It is an excellent way to add some enthusiasm into a conversation that has hit a lull, especially if he/she would prefer to be doing that activity at that moment.
"Are you getting away this summer?" This question can lead to conversations about family, reveal special interests and, if you like talking about travel, it's a sure-fire way to keep a conversation interesting.
"How did you come to be in your line of work?" For some, the path to where they are today can be quite an interesting ordeal. Having a chance to revisit their story to success can leave helpful clues along the way as to who they are and what makes them tick.
Check out the full article for more suggestions, or share your own with us in the comments.