Work the crowd

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Social gatherings, office parties, community events—they all give you an opportunity to enhance your professional image.


But if you’re nervous about what to talk about in a crowd of strangers, Toastmasters International offers this advice to turn small talk into smart talk:

•  Plan your topics. Think of 2 to 3 topics you can discuss with anyone.

•  Keep it lighthearted. Avoid office gossip and controversial topics. Stay clear of topics related to sex, religion, and politics.

•  Meet someone new. Take the first step to introduce yourself to the CEO. Or talk to someone new while waiting in the   food line.

•  Spark a conversation. Ask open-ended questions about the person you’re getting to know.

•  Listen attentively. Ask follow-up questions about the person or group you’re talking with. Listen more than you talk.

•  Introduce others. Be sure to introduce a newcomer to those you’re talking with.

•  Consider cultural differences. Take into account figures of speech, how you present humor, and personal space.

•  Limit alcohol. Know your drink limit. If necessary, avoid alcohol altogether to keep your composure.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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