This submission is by TM Gaurav from Guwahai. TM Gaurav has shared a simple yet interesting TMOD theme titled “Small talks, big problem.” Gaurav here helps you learn how you can up your small talk game. Read his idea below.
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SMALL TALK, BIG PROBLEM
This January was my birthday. And Birthday is that one day when you receive lots of phone calls, especially from people you speak just once a year – on birthdays. For a strange reason, people kept asking me one question over and over again. No it was not how old I have gotten but rather people wanted to know how’s the weather in Guwahati? Now it’s ok if people who are asking this question were in the business of selling raincoats or woolen clothes. But surprisingly that’s not the reason. The real reason- small talk is a big problem.
First let’s try to understand what’s small talk. Imagine you are getting on a lift and bump into someone you are not too close with, say a distant relative, or a friend of a friend or even a client. If both of you stay silent, it gets a bit awkward. A sort of tension starts to build up inside you. You feel the urgent pressure to say something to remove this awkward silence? And so you say “it’s been raining a lot right?” That’s something you must have said a lot over the last few weeks. Or you ask questions like how are the kids? “How’s everyone at home? Are you genuinely concerned? Of course no but that awkward silence kills you far more than the health of his family members can? That is small talk and it’s a big problem.
Over the course of this meeting, let’ understand how to up your small talk game but first let’s see how Toastmasters work. Every Toastmasters meeting is divided into three parts. The first part is the prepared speech section where members prepare a speech in advance, get it mentored and deliver the same. The second part is the impromptu session where anyone including the guest can participate. And the third part is the most important evaluation session where we will all learn how to improve ourselves. Let me now invite the General Evaluator to explain his role. Please help me welcome TM Name with a big round of applause.
Once the General Evaluator has explained his role, start the prepared speech section. After this session, continue with the theme as under.
One of the best ways to avoid awkward conversations is to have a pre planned conversation starters. This means you think of topics for which conversation doesn’t end with “yeah weather’s good”. For example a lot of the time when I bump into someone, I ask “so what’s new in your business. I heard competition is getting pretty tight?” Every time I say this, the other person is more than happy to elaborate why competition in increasing and times are bad. Another conversation starter I use, is “Haven’t seen you in a long time. Were you out of Guwahati recently?” To which most people recount the latest trip they took which can be to Jorhat or Jaipur or even Jaimica. So pre plan some conversation starters that work for you and just steer the conversation forward.
With that, it’s time now for the most exciting and fun session in a Toastmasters meeting. Please welcome with a big round of applause our Table Topic Master TM Name.
Once the table topic session is over, continue with the theme.
While it’s good to have pre planned conversation starters, sometimes compliments are even better openers. For example – is the other person really well dressed? Or perhaps you heard something really good about their work. Find opportunities where you can put the other person under limelight. Apart from lighting up the conversation, it also leaves a positive impression in their memories for future occasions.
With that it’s time to start the final session of the meeting, the evaluation session. Let’s welcome the GE for the day TM Name.
Once the Evaluation session is over, conclude the meeting with awards.
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Thank you so much TM Gaurav for this submission.
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