Would you start small talk easier if you knew how to exit the situation correctly? The Langdon Brothers, Andy and Steve, coached the guests of the Future Female Winter Party hosted by Gofore with practical tips on how to mingle with the person next to you without having to lie about going to the bathroom, to the dentist or to see if you forgot to turn off the stove at home.
These twin kings of small talk in their colorful clothes were so energetic, social and entertaining that the crowd hardly remembered to pause and take a breath during their immersive small talk workshop. The atmosphere at the Future Female meet-ups is always intense and positive, but these fellows were obviously in it to break the record.
Steve and Andy started by greeting all the guests by name and then went on to recruit people one by one to different roles – presenters and their audience.
The presenters were then given a few minutes to prepare presentations with the objective of recruiting the audience to a hobby or to work for a company. Soon the whole lobby and even kitchen at Gofore was full of smiling and talkative, yet a bit nervous presenters and a supportive and enthusiastic crowd. As the show went on, total strangers talked to each other with ease – and even gave tips on how to present more convincingly.
Finally, the presenters were released from their duties and to everyone’s surprise the person who gave the least positive feedback on a certain topic was asked to do the next presentation on that topic.
Andy and Steve truly push the boundaries of comfort zones. And it works – since to learn something, one must leave their cozy zone and be daring.
Tips for entering and exiting any conversation
After the crash course Andy gave some valuable guidelines on how to start any conversation:
Choose any of the following:
- last weekend
- the coming weekend
- last vacation
- the coming vacation
Tell something personal (preferably something funny, relatable or interesting) on any of the topics above, e.g. “I play the trumpet, and I would like to play it even more, but I’m not sure what my neighbours would think about it.”
Ask something very top level on the same topic: “What hobbies do you have?”. This allows the other person to decide how personal they want to go with their answer. And voilá, you have a conversation!
But what on earth are you supposed to do when you want to leave a conversation?
How do you exit the situation delicately? This is something the brothers did not disclose during their extravaganza! But no worries, I interviewed them afterwards. Here you go, an exit line on a silver platter:
“You are such an interesting person, I wish I could talk to you all night, but I have been told I need to do some more mingling. So I hope to catch up with you later on.”
Very simple and polite. By remembering how to start and how to finish a small talk, you are on your way to becoming a Small Talk Superhero.
A huge thanks to Andy and Steve for the very practical tips and building our confidence in our social skills. This was one of the best Xmas gifts in a long time!
And ten hugs, fifteen <3 emojis and thousand thanks to Future Female for organizing one more of their impressive, empowering and positive events. You truly are all-year-Santas or should I say Santaritas.