Tips on Making Small Talk at a Formal Affair
At some time throughout any formal affair, you’re going to get stuck making small talk. If you are attending prom as your first formal event, this is a great chance to use the skills you will need for the rest of your life. It takes skill and finesse to successfully make small talk without boring the boutonnieres off your date's lapel. Tips from Beverly Hills Manners President Lisa Gaché can help.
Do your homework. Read the news, checkout the latest movie reviews or research other current events and trendy topics. This gives you a whole host of interesting conversation topics on which you can actually add meaningful input. It’s much more exciting than sitting around chatting about the weather.
Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.” When someone can respond with a simple “yes” or “no” the conversation can be closed before it even begins. Instead go for open-ended questions that require a bit of thinking in the response. Instead of asking “Are you having fun?,” say something like, “What part of the evening are you enjoying most so far?”
Actually listen. Successful small talk happens from active involvement, even if you’re not the one talking. If you actually listen to the answers to the questions you just asked, you could have five more topics instantly at your fingertips.
Let people talk about themselves. People generally relish the chance to talk about themselves, so you can keep the talk going by steering inquiries in that direction.
These quick tips can turn small talk into a compelling conversation during which you may learn few interesting tidbits and even have some fun!