Welcome to Aspirations! Blog

I have started this blog as a way to communicate with my readers on a more frequent basis. I will be making posts to the blog biweekly and will cover a variety of topics including employment trends, companies that are hiring, thoughts on how to market yourself, etc.

As I approach Saturday, which is the first day of the networking class I teach for part-time MBA students at Boston University’s School of Management, I have been reflecting on some notes the students have sent me. Many of the students have commented that they have trouble making “small talk.”

Here are a few tips on how to make “small talk.”

  • Prepare for the conversation. When you plan to attend an event (industry-, college-related or otherwise), come up with three questions that you can ask the attendees to break the ice. Some examples are:
    • Do you come to these events often?
    • What do you think of the guest speaker? Have you heard he/she speak before?
    • How do you know the host/hostess?
  • Actively listen to your conversational partner. Ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation flowing and provide feedback as appropriate. Listen more than you talk. Maintain eye contact, do not glance around the room, and give visual clues that you are listening.
  • Be introduced. If there is someone in particular you would like to meet, it is always easier to be introduced by someone. Ask a mutual friend to do the honors.

Once you’ve accomplished these three tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a big impression through “small talk.”