July 16, 2015
By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC
Let’s face it – the most common topic of small talk is the weather. I’m not just speaking for those of us in the disaster restoration industry…Everyone stays on top the weather; whether or not they go out of their way to follow the news, they at least have a general gist of it. And, while it can, at times, be cumbersome, it is generally a safe topic, less inclined to involve politics.
But, talking about the weather doesn’t have to be ordinary or boring. In fact, this simple conversation starter can lead to big opportunities! Once you master the art of “weather” small talk, you’ll be able to speak to just about anyone about anything, and easily network with professionals of prominence.
Don’t just state the obvious. If it’s raining out, this can be used to transition into conversation, but add to it. Do you know the prediction for the weekend’s weather? Are you aware of any forecasted weather warnings; and, do you know what actions should be taken in those incidences? Do you have any fun facts, related to the weather? Knowledge sounds more professional and keeps the conversation engaging. Plus, if you know something they may not be aware of, it might benefit them.
Make it About Them
Ask the other party questions. If they’re from a foreign area, what is their current weather like? Is that common for this time of year? Do they prefer hot or cold weather conditions? If they’re from a part of the world that doesn’t snow often, have they ever seen the snow? Whatever questions you ask, be interested in what they are saying.
No one wants to hear someone complain all day, especially a person who hardly knows you. Keep the conversation light. Not to mention, just because you don’t prefer the rain, doesn’t mean the person you’re talking with hates it too. Negativity can be awkward, especially if the other party doesn’t empathize with you.
Now that you’ve established a conversation, switch it up. No one really wants to discuss the weather all day. Don’t beat a dead horse. Find an opening to transition into a separate topic. This first impression could be a great opportunity – Don’t pass it by.